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Western legalization of marijuana impacts Idaho, Wyo.

By Staff and AP
Published On: Jan 01 2014 07:15:34 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 02 2014 01:42:17 PM CST

Some western states are legalizing medical marijuana and Colorado has even made it legal for recreational use. State officials said it's hard to keep Idaho out of this conversation.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Some Western states are legalizing medical marijuana, and Colorado has even made it legal for recreational use. Although the drug is still illegal in Idaho and Wyoming, the new laws will still have an impact on those states.

Idaho State Police said they have seen an increase in drug trafficking throughout the state as surrounding states transport the drug from the West to the East Coast. Because many of these drug exports have to be made from states that border Idaho, transport through the Gem State is inevitable. Regardless of the drugs increased legalization, Idaho State Police Lt. Chris Weadick said it is still illegal in Idaho and authorities are heightening their awareness.

"Our troopers, as well as our local law enforcement agencies, are better trained in detecting drug trafficking as well as identifying trends. A lot of times that adds to the seizures as well," he said.

Weadick said anyone in possession of marijuana in the state of Idaho is breaking the law. Anything under 3 ounces is a misdemeanor and anything over that amount is a felony.

And in Wyoming, law officers also expect an increase in marijuana arrests. The sheriff of Albany County, Wyo., which borders Colorado, told the Laramie Daily Boomerang marijuana arrests surged after Colorado approved medical marijuana in 2000. He says he expects a similar boost now.

Wyoming Highway Patrol Sgt. Stephen Townsend says he too expects more marijuana traffic on southern Wyoming highways.

Possession of less than 3 ounces of marijuana in Wyoming is punishable by a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. For more than 3 ounces, the sentence is up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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Information from: Laramie Boomerang, http://www.laramieboomerang.com

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