March 19, 1996 in Nation/World

High School Parking Lot Search Produces Little Marijuana

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A drug search of more than 600 cars at the city’s two high schools last Friday yielded only 8.7 grams of marijuana, one can of beer, some firecrackers and tobacco, police said Monday.

Police Capt. Carl Bergh said he isn’t focusing on the minuscule amount of drugs.

“This wasn’t about going after major dealers; this was a situation about where we didn’t want drugs in our schools,” Bergh said. The good news is that more than 90 percent of the cars came up clean, he said.

The marijuana, about one-third of an ounce total, was found in the cars of six students, not nine as reported earlier. The raid involved officers and drug dogs from six agencies.

One Coeur d’Alene High School student had 5.7 grams in plastic bags and film canisters and $45 in cash, Bergh said.

Three ounces of marijuana is the threshold for charging someone with dealing - far more than the student had. But the student admitted the $45 came from selling another student an eighth of an ounce of marijuana.

He was released to his parents, and his case is being reviewed by prosecutors. The maximum prison sentence for dealing marijuana is seven years.

The other three grams were found in the cars of five students. They were not arrested, Bergh said. Each case will be reviewed with the student, parents and the prosecutor’s office.

Police aren’t pursuing the case where a student was found with a can of beer in his car. The father of that student told police the beer was his.

The firecracker and tobacco violations will be reviewed individually.

School officials and police say they are getting mostly positive reactions from parents and the community.

The searches shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Members of parent advisory groups, student body leaders and others were told about the possibility, said Judy Drake, director of secondary education. “It was one more tool to provide this safe, drug-free environment for children.”

, DataTimes

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