The illegal use of drugs affects everyone in our community. Recognizing these drugs and learning about the threats they pose can help reduce drug related crime.
Marijuana is the most widely abused drug in Washington County with the exception of alcohol. It is readily available with top quality marijuana selling for over $400 per ounce. Marijuana dealing seems to occur at all levels, from multiple pounds, down to school age suspects selling as low as 1 gram. More residents admitted for publicly funded drug treatment in 2009 were users of marijuana than all other non-alcohol drugs combined. Most arrests are made for possession of marijuana. Marijuana in the county generally originates from Mexico and is transported to the Milwaukee and Chicago area for local distribution.
Its use as a gateway drug among young people makes marijuana a significant threat. Though it has not gained the general acceptance of alcohol, there seems to be a distinction drawn between this drug and those seen as more dangerous. Even parents who do not want their children to abuse drugs will generally be less upset if their child is caught with marijuana as opposed to a harder drug. They do not accept that marijuana use frequently goes hand-in-hand with other drug abuse.
Marijuana is not known for causing violence directly, however incidents have occurred, such as thefts of vehicles, and thefts from vehicles with suspects being influenced by smoking marijuana and trying to get money to buy it. Many impaired drivers also show signs of marijuana usage at the time of their arrests. Pipes, residue and other indicators show the likelihood of these people being impaired by the drug.
In 2009, the Drug Unit worked with Slinger PD and Hartford PD to seize 10 pounds of high quality marijuana and $4,200 in cash from a local dealer. That arrest led to additional search warrants and the seizure of 15 pounds of high grade marijuana, a firearm, and $8,700 in cash from a second dealer. In other marijuana cases, Over 120 marijuana plants were seized from 6 indoor and outdoor cultivated grows, all resulting in arrests. In 2009 the Task Force seized almost 15 kilograms of marijuana and 150 cultivated plants from 8 indoor and outdoor grow operations,
Being partially a rural area, marijuana cultivation is a concern. Most indoor growers of marijuana in this area are single individuals or roommates who grow in their private homes or outbuildings associated with their residences. We commonly recover fans, automatic timers and grow lights; occasionally there is more sophisticated equipment.