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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Can you bring legal weed back to Idaho from a neighboring state? Here’s what the law says

Transport driver Jon Sahlberg secures a locked plastic tote filled with marijuana products in the back of his van in Hillyard, part of a regular delivery made by his business, Cannavan, in this July 2017 photo.  (JESSE TINSLEY/The Spokesman-Review)
By Shaun Goodwin and Brayden Garcia Idaho Statesman

BOISE – While neighboring states allow recreational and medical marijuana use, Idaho remains strictly bud-free.

In total, 21 states across the U.S. have legalized recreational marijuana, and 37 states have allowed medical use. Idaho is one of just four states yet to even decriminalize marijuana, along with Wyoming, Kansas and South Carolina.

But with several weed-friendly states only a few hours’ drive away, what happens if someone crosses state lines with marijuana in their possession? Here’s what to know about Idaho’s marijuana laws:

What does the law say about pot?

The possession, growing, selling, distribution and use of recreational marijuana are illegal in Idaho. State law is tough on marijuana offenses. Fines can run in the thousands, plus years in jail.

Here’s how the penalties shake out for manufacturing, transporting and possessing marijuana in Idaho:

  • 1-5 pounds or 25-50 marijuana plants – Felony with a minimum fine of $5,000 and at least one year incarcerated.
  • 5-25 pounds or 50-100 marijuana plants – Felony with a minimum fine of $10,000 and at least three years incarcerated.
  • More than 25 pounds or more than 100 marijuana plants – Felony with a minimum fine of $15,000 and at least five years incarcerated.

The maximum number of years of imprisonment for possessing marijuana in Idaho is 15 years and a maximum fine of $50,000.

What happens if you cross state lines with pot?

Idaho law is pretty straightforward: It is illegal to possess marijuana in the state, regardless of where it was purchased.

If you purchased marijuana while in Oregon or Washington and then traveled to Idaho with it, you have broken the law. It doesn’t matter if the marijuana was purchased legally. As soon as it crosses Idaho state lines, it’s considered contraband.

It’s not only a marijuana possession charge you’ll have to worry about, too. You could also be charged with drug trafficking if caught, which is a federal crime, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

What if you’re

caught with weed at the airport?

The Transportation Security Administration is not looking for drugs when it screens fliers, but if it finds marijuana or other drugs, it will refer the matter to law enforcement.

TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security to detect potential threats to aircraft and passengers. When TSA officers are screening for weapons or other harmful items and find an illegal substance, it will be reported to local law enforcement, according to the TSA.

Can Idahoans

purchase pot in other states?

Idaho residents at least 21 years old can purchase legal recreational and medical marijuana in other states.

Just like alcohol, anyone purchasing recreational marijuana in Oregon, Washington, or any other state in which marijuana is legalized must be at least 21 years old.

Can you consume pot and then travel back to Idaho?

Yes, but only if you’re not driving and don’t have any in your possession.

Under Idaho Code Title 18 Chapter 80, driving while intoxicated is not only limited to alcohol but drugs as well. A first-time driving under the influence charge is a misdemeanor and could carry a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail and a driver’s license suspension of up to 180 days.

A third-time offender within a 10-year span will be charged with a felony, a maximum fine of $5,000, up to five years in jail and a driver’s license suspension of up to five years following release from prison.