Posted February 20, 2018 at 06:00 AM | Updated February 20, 2018 at 01:04 PM
(Editor’s note: This is part of “The United States of Weed,” a series on the movement to legalize marijuana for recreational use in New Jersey, and the potential impact it could have on Staten Island. Click here for additional stories in the project.)
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As New Jersey lawmakers debate legalizing marijuana for recreational use in the Garden State, the focus in New York has shifted to the border.
Should a bill make it to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk, he’s already said he would sign it. That would allow Staten Islanders to travel across the border, buy and use marijuana, and return home without issue.
But, according to federal law, they legally would not be able to bring weed back into New York, creating what could be a crackdown at the Outerbridge Crossing and Goethals and Bayonne bridges.
Kyle Lawson | [email protected]
A glimpse into the future?
To learn how local law enforcement might deal with the issue, the Advance recently sent a team of reporters to the Pacific Northwest, where marijuana and impaired drivers cross daily from Oregon into Idaho, one of states in which the drug remains strictly prohibited.
Reporter Kyle Lawson and multimedia specialist Amanda Steen rode with members of Idaho’s Domestic Highway Enforcement Team, who are trained with federal dollars to prevent traffickers from crossing into the state while keeping an eye out for impaired drivers.
Along the Oregon-Idaho border
Troopers there said there’s a constant stream of marijuana — both black market and store bought — entering Idaho from legalized states like Oregon or Washington.
“Every time I’m on patrol, I see marijuana,”