Weed profiling: Nebraska county cites Colorado drivers for pot, etc., more than Nebraska ones
For well over a year, we've shared claims of pot profiling from drivers who say they were pulled over on bogus pretenses in other states simply because their vehicle had Colorado license plates and local cops wanted an excuse to search it for marijuana. Note the story of a 65-year-old who was told she fit the profile of a drug smuggler because she didn't fit the profile of a drug smuggler and a trooper who said a rental car's records were inaccurate when they were actually just fine.
Additional photos, plus video and a graphic below.
Now, 7News has collected data that suggests such reports aren't simply anecdotal -- especially in one Nebraska county, where Colorado drivers are stopped more often than ones from that state, whether it's for pot or any other reason.
The station collected traffic-related figures in Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska, with some of it dating back to 2008 -- around the time the marijuana boom in Colorado began in earnest. And the results are eye-opening.
This photo and those that follow are culled from the 7News package on view below.
For instance, there were 294 marijuana-related incidents on Interstate 25 in Wyoming between 2008 and February 2014. Here are the top three states represented by the digits:
Wyoming Drivers= 130 marijuana-related incidentsPresumably, the volume of Wyoming cars driving in the state dwarfs the number with Colorado plates. Hence, the relative closeness of the totals seems more than coincidental.
Colorado Drivers= 92 marijuana-related incidents
Montana Drivers = 25 marijuana-related incidents
More telling info is summarized in the following graphic:
That Colby, Kansas is a hotbed for Colorado marijuana stops is no surprise. Back in March 2013, we spoke to Colby attorney Cal Williams, who said such incidents were so common that a billboard should be erected at the state line reading, "'Stop and get rid of this. Don't come into Kansas with it. You can go to prison on less than an ounce.'"
He's not exaggerating. "As little as 25 grams can be a felony in Kansas," Williams told us. "There's a range from 25 grams to 450 grams, and even for someone with no record, a conviction could carry 46 to 51 months in a penitentiary."
Moreover, wrist slaps aren't common in these cases, whether or not an individual had previously steered clear of wrongdoing. "It is presumptive prison," Williams said, "with 49 months being the middle range; that's likely what it would be. And based on the fact that an ounce is 28.35 grams, less than an ounce is enough to send you to prison."
Even so, pot profiling in Colby appears to pale in comparison with what's going on in a certain Nebraska county.
Continue for more about marijuana profiling, including additional photos and a video.