LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - In 2017, Nebraska State Patrol confiscated more than 2000 pounds of marijuana so far.
NSP's most recent information show that across the state they have had 357 road side interactions involving drugs, and nearly 55% of those involved marijuana. According to troopers, the quantity of pot they are finding is down because the quality of the marijuana out there is up.
Lieutenant Jeff Wilcynski with NSP traffic services said, "It's a higher potency marijuana so the quantity itself is a little bit down. We're not seeing often times loads of 500 to 1000 pounds due to the higher concentrate marijuana being worth more money in that aspect."
Wilcynski has worked for NSP for more than 20 years, and according to him, pulling people over on state highways is part of the job, but making observations while interacting with drivers is the key to making big busts.
"We just train our people to talk to people and ask for information such as destination, where they're coming from, the amount of time it's going to take for their trip," said Wilcynski. "Most people don't drive all they way out to the west coast for one day then turn around and come back," he continued.
Last year, nearly 80% of NSP's drug related stops involved marijuana, but that does not mean troopers are always looking for their next bust, rather they pay close attention to details.
Wilcynski said, "all of these little indicators don't always mean there's criminal element or there's criminal activity afoot, but every little detail, every little piece kind of adds to the pie which could indicate there is criminal activity."
According to statistics from NSP, they have seen a decrease in the number of controlled substances, like prescription drugs, they are getting off the highways.
In 2016, the state police confiscated more than 4000 units of controlled substances, but as of September 2017, they had confiscated just under 1000 units.