Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Office tracking marijuana-related calls

Grants Pass, Ore. — The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is tracking the amount of calls it responds to involving marijuana. The sheriff’s office said it wants to record how much time, energy, and effort goes into marijuana-related crimes.

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is tracking marijuana cases using a special code. It’s a strategy it’s been utilizing for six months now.

“You have recreational marijuana that’s being grown and a lot of it is being grown in the county and Jackson County,” said Undersheriff Travis Snyder, Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

As pot grows in southern Oregon increase, so do marijuana-related crimes.

“We’re now putting a specific code in our calls so that after one year of collecting the data we can go back and see how many calls our deputies have responded to,” he said.

The sheriff’s office has been using the new code for six months now. After one year, it will have enough data to determine percentages for marijuana call loads.

“It’ll give us an idea of how much of a burden of recreational marijuana and growing of recreational marijuana and medical marijuana is on local law enforcement,” he said.

While marijuana robberies and thefts occur year-round, the sheriff’s office said some times are busier than others.

“There does seem to be some consistency with harvest time, processed bud being available,” he said.

The undersheriff said a lot of that — simply has to do with convenience.

“If you were going to steal marijuana from somebody, it would be a lot easier to steal packaged, trimmed, dried marijuana versus 500 plants,” he said.

Bottom line – with the marijuana popularity growing each year – the sheriff’s office wants to stay proactive. So if and when the day comes that responding to marijuana related crimes become a bigger issue than it can handle, it’ll have all the data it needs.

“The state collects the taxes on it, but these two sheriff’s offices in southern Oregon are being overrun with calls for service tied to state money that’s being collected, and we don’t receive assistance financially to help deal with the issues that the marijuana grows bring to our community,” he said.

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