Arrests for hashish smuggling at Los Angeles International Airport are up 166 % because the legalization of marijuana in California, in response to a report from the Los Angeles Times. Officials at LAX reported that hashish was found in checked baggage and carryon luggage 503 occasions final yr. In 2017 there have been 400 studies for marijuana possession at the airport whereas in 2016, the yr California voters legalized hashish with the passage of Proposition 64, pot was discovered on 282 events. About 20 % of these studies concerned trafficking and the remaining have been associated to passengers who had been discovered possessing weed or hashish merchandise in portions in line with private use.
In 2018, Los Angeles Airport Police made 101 trafficking arrests, in contrast with 38 in 2017 and solely 20 trafficking arrests in 2016, based on LAX police data. Ben Kroger, Jr., a felony protection lawyer that makes a speciality of hashish regulation, stated that the legalization of marijuana in California and a ensuing drop in costs has made smuggling weed to different jurisdictions a profitable proposition.
“Since pot’s been legalized in California, there’s no money to be made because everyone got involved in it,” Kroger stated. “They’ve got these big 50,000-square-foot [grow] houses, and they’re flooding the market. The money is outside of California.”
Kroger just lately represented a shopper who had been caught at LAX with 70 kilos of hashish in vacuum sealed luggage packed in his checked baggage. The man had been delivered to the eye of police after he discretely requested one other passenger ready for a flight to Philadelphia if she needed to hitch his “drug smuggling ring.”
“This is normal procedure for these guys, and I would say 29 out of 30 times they make it through without a problem,” stated Kroger.
LAX isn’t the one airport in California seeing a surge in hashish smuggling after legalization. Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, which has jurisdiction over Oakland International Airport, stated that officers in his division are additionally discovering pot headed for resale in different states.
“We intercept large quantities of marijuana regularly,” stated Kelly. “We find it in about 50-pound quantities … the carry-on rate for luggage. I would imagine we’re only intercepting some of it, not all of it.”
Most Passengers Found with Pot at LAX Released
The overwhelming majority of passengers discovered to be possessing pot at LAX are caught with lower than an oz of weed, an quantity now authorized underneath California regulation. In accordance with a brand new airport coverage that went into impact final yr, these caught with authorized portions of weed at the airport are not topic to arrest by native regulation enforcement.
“In accordance with Proposition 64, the Los Angeles Airport Police Department will allow passengers to travel through LAX with up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana. However, passengers should be aware that marijuana laws vary state by state and they are encouraged to check the laws of the states in which they plan to travel,” reads a web-based posting of the coverage.