St. Helens police seize pot in traffic stop
St. Helens police seized 7.5 pounds of marijuana from a motorist during a traffic stop last week.
On Monday, Feb. 4, SHPD officer Dylan Gaston made a traffic stop around 7 a.m. when he spotted a vehicle with a burnt out headlight and expired tags.
During the stop, Gaston detected an overwhelming smell of marijuana and discovered a large tub filled with the drug. The motorist, whose name is not being released by police at this time due to the ongoing investigation, told officers the smell was so strong due to recently smoked marijuana, but Gaston said he did not detect signs of impairment.
"We regularly encounter marijuana on traffic stops and other calls for service but the overwhelming majority of the time it is a legal amount or close to it. Seeing anywhere near this quantity is much less common," Gaston noted in an email to the Spotlight.
When asked, the motorist said the marijuana was intended for personal use.
The motorist was cited for driving while suspended and uninsured, and is also facing charges of unlawful possession of marijuana.
Oregon state law allows an individual over the age of 21 to possess no more than eight ounces of usable marijuana, or an ounce of usable marijuana in a public place. Restrictions are also in place for how much liquid form cannabis, concentrate or extract an individual can possess.
The 7.5 pounds of marijuana equates to 120 ounces,
which is more than 100 times the legal limit, SHPD explained.
Anyone possessing more than 16 times the legal limit can face a class C felony.