GREAT BEND, Kansas – Central Kansas law enforcement says they’re seeing more marijuana coming into the area, but they believe it’s coming from our neighbors to the west where it’s legal.
“We’ve seen marijuana coming in, we do suspect that it’s from the state of Colorado,” said Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir.
The Barton County Sheriff’s Department says it is clear that Colorado pot is coming to Kansas.
“It makes sense that it would be less riskier than dealing with a clandestine drug dealer, you know that people are going out and bringing it back themselves,” said Bellendir.
The sheriff’s department says they haven’t seen an increase in marijuana arrests lately because it’s a lot easier to get the drug from Colorado, but that arrests could increase in the future.
What police are seeing is a different kind of marijuana of higher quality and more potency.
“They would rather have the buds than more of the leafy stuff, it does appear to be, some of it we have seen is commercially packaged and we’re seeing it in some cases in larger quantities than we’ve seen in the past,” said Bellindir.
What they haven’t seen is major trafficking from Colorado, through the Great Bend area because officers say that’s happening closer to major highways.
“We have received information from confidential informants, and through other police sources and sometimes it comes out in court, that this is where this product did originate from and came into the state of Kansas,” said Bellindir.
Regardless, deputies say with pot legalized just one state over, it is getting harder to stop.
“If surrounding states and neighboring states do have legalization of recreational marijuana it’s going to be a real problem to keep it out of the state of Kansas,” said Bellindir.
Even though marijuana can be bought legally in Colorado, it is still illegal if it’s brought back into Kansas.