Free Press: Idaho Lawmen Vigilent About Gem State Pot Busts

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North Idaho lawmen are keeping a close watch on traffic between the Gem State and Washington, since Washington's Dec. 6 legalization of recreational use of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults older than 21.

This week's Idaho County Free Press reports that Idaho County sheriff's deputies and county prosecutors haven't seen any immediate effects but they're still cautioning Idahoans who may be heading to Washington for some pot.

"It may be legal in Washington but it's not legal in the state of Idaho," Grangeville Police Chief Morgan Drew told the Press. "It's definitely a crime, and as far as I'm concerned, they will be treated the same as anyone else."

Marijuana is a so-called schedule 1 drug, and possession of less than three ounces is a misdemeanor, which could result in maximum penalties of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Possession of more than three ounces is a felony punishable by up to five years behind bars and a $15,000 fine.

"If, for example, a Clarkston [Wash.] resident drives into Idaho and forgets they have marijuana in their pocket and they are caught, it's still against the law," Idaho County Prosecutor Kirk MacGregor told the Press. "It's his responsibility to remove it from his person before he comes to Idaho."

Twenty-three states currently support some level of marijuana possession or use, including the recent legalizations in Washington and Colorado.

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