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Lawmakers Weigh In On Marijuana

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By Stephanie Mead

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Washington and Colorado are the only two states in America that have legalized marijuana use.

Idaho State Police officials tell us Idaho is seeing an increase in marijuana trafficking over the past five years.

Last year, ISP seized 806 pounds of pot on roads statewide.

With states legalizing marijuana within a close proximity to the Gem State… Some law makers are uneasy.

“I'm very concerned; I'm a former health teacher so I've taught a lot of units on drugs and know the dangers,” explains Gooding Representative Donna Pence.

“The main purpose I think for government is to keep people safe and healthy and educated, and it appears that, that type of drug would be a deterrent to that in the trafficking in and out is usually with the crime groups,” points out Jerome and Twin Falls Representative Maxine Bell.

Washington and Colorado legalized medical and recreational use.

Oregon, California, and Nevada all decriminalized marijuana and legalized medical marijuana.

According to Idaho State Police - this poses a threat for trafficking in the Gem State along major highways.

I-84 is where most of the traffickers get busted, and where law makers are expecting to be the most trafficking throughout the state.

“It's probably going to affect Idaho in terms of you got Washington, you got Colorado, and there are probably going to be drugs moving through the state that people brought legally in Colorado and so forth. It's an issue that has to be dealt with,” says Idaho Representative Mike Simpson.

An issue that lawmakers are unsure of the outcome.

“Those I know and I work with right here, I would dare say, don't see the value. Even though we have some neighbors and I might tell you let’s watch, let's see if there are ramifications in other states from having it legal,” Bell says.

“I think the culture of Idaho is probably not quite ready to do that yet, I'm not at all in favor of changing our law,” Pence explains.

While lawmakers may have mixed feelings, it won't stop traffickers from moving the drug in and out of the state.

Tuesday... Stephanie Mead will take a closer look at how state troopers are cracking down on trafficking within the Gem State.


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