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Sean McAllister has a name for what he’s seen after the first month of legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado.
“Profiling Colorado-style,” said the Denver-area criminal defense attorney and spokesman for the Colorado chapter of NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws.
Though the evidence is only anecdotal, McAllister and others affiliated with Colorado’s nascent marijuana industry say they believe law enforcement officers in surrounding states, including Kansas, have been targeting people leaving the state with legally purchased pot.
“We’ve heard that police are being much more aggressive in stopping and searching cars,” said Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, which represents the state’s marijuana retailers.
People with Colorado license plates may be a particular target, they say.
“I’ve had several clients pulled over by police in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska,” McAllister said. “I think there’s been a lot of profiling of Colorado plates.”
A spokesman for the Kansas Highway Patrol said it’s too soon to look at arrest records so far this year to see if there has been an uptick from previous months.
But Lt. Joshua Kellerman said the patrol is not doing anything differently as a result of Colorado’s legalization of the drug that was, and still is, illegal to possess in Kansas.