By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota State troopers are making strides to stop the flow of drugs into the state.

In 2017, troopers seized more than 4,200 pounds of marijuana — that’s more than what was seized in the past five years combined. The majority of the pot is coming from states where recreational use of marijuana is legal.

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“Now in 2018, we are already seeing that trend continue,” said Col. Matt Langer of the State Patrol. “We are either on pace or will eclipse what we saw last year.”

He says working with the Violent Crime Enforcement Team not only stops the drugs but also helps them find out where they’re come from.

“We’ve found that they are coming from states that chose to violate federal law and legalize marijuana — California, Colorado and Oregon are the states we are getting our biggest quantities from now,” said Brian Marquart, the gang and drug coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

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He says dealers come from all walks of life.

“You have very organized drug trafficking organizations, cartels that are making a lot of money off these, and you have the opportunities were people are trying to bring back a few duffle bags full and try and make a fast dollar,” Marquart said.

Langer says tips from the community really help troopers focus their efforts to get the drugs before they get into Minnesota cities.

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He and others believe the best way to combat the flow of drugs in our state is to cut demand.

Reg Chapman