Pot or hemp? Local police lack technology to tell difference

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Industrial hemp became legal nationwide when President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law.

But local police officers who now encounter huge shipments of state-certified hemp on America’s highways can’t tell if the plants they’re seeing are hemp or marijuana.

The two types of cannabis look and smell alike. They can only be told apart by precise testing for the amount of the high-inducing THC in them.

Roadside field tests that could help police quickly tell pot and hemp apart don’t exist.

The hemp industry is increasingly alarmed by the arrests of truckers hauling state-certified hemp in Idaho and Oklahoma and by the seizure of thousands of pounds of product.

Law enforcement is frustrated because they can’t easily tell who’s breaking the law and who isn’t.