Senior Works to Lower the Amount of Meth Considered Trafficking


By KMVT News

Murtaugh, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV )

One senior at Murtaugh High School is looking to toughen up drug trafficking laws in Idaho.

Toef Leija was watching a movie with his siblings when a scene about methamphetamine came on the screen.

Feeling protective, the older brother wanted to find a way to protect his brothers and sisters from the drug.

Says Leija, "If they see it they're going to want to try it and I said I want to compromise and make it a harder sentence."

From that, his senior project to lower the amount of meth considered trafficking was born.

Leija notes, "The law as it stands now is 28 grams and I'm trying to get it to 5 grams."

Representative Clark Kauffman of District 25 was impressed with the senior’s initiative. Says Kauffman, "He called me and said how do we change the law and I said the first thing is to get your facts and figures together, come to the Legislature and I helped him get an appointment in the judiciary and rules committee and he hit a home run."

Says Leija, "There was a lot of representatives there. I was really nervous and kind of watched other representatives when they spoke and kind of learned on the fly.”

But Kauffman notes, "He was the last one up and the committee asked him a lot of questions and he had answered them spot on. He did his research."

On the experience, Leija adds, “It's pretty exhilarating. I just learned that if you are willing to contact certain people that are willing to put the time in to help them, you just have to reach out to them first."

In total, Leija spent 50 hours working on his project. Time he considers well worth it in order to help protect his siblings.

Representative Kauffman agrees.

"Get involved... the world is run by people that show up."

Next year, Toef will be attending the University of Great Falls where he will study pre–law.

He hopes to continue working on his project and seeing his proposal move ahead in the legislature.

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