• DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.823
    0.020
    1.1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    0.985
    0.042
    4.5%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.702
    -0.062
    -3.5%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.623
    -0.029
    -1.8%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.114
    -0.041
    -1.9%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.291
    -0.082
    -6%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.299
    -0.086
    -6.2%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.541
    -0.059
    -3.7%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    2.062
    -0.147
    -6.7%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.679
    -0.061
    -3.5%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.919
    -0.111
    -10.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    10,238.280
    -46.690
    -0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    8.180
    -0.010
    -0.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    10,231.970
    -42.480
    -0.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.650
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    158.000
    8.000
    5.3%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.823
    0.020
    1.1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    0.985
    0.042
    4.5%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.702
    -0.062
    -3.5%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.623
    -0.029
    -1.8%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.114
    -0.041
    -1.9%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.291
    -0.082
    -6%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.299
    -0.086
    -6.2%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.541
    -0.059
    -3.7%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    2.062
    -0.147
    -6.7%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.679
    -0.061
    -3.5%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.919
    -0.111
    -10.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    10,238.280
    -46.690
    -0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    8.180
    -0.010
    -0.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    10,231.970
    -42.480
    -0.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.650
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    158.000
    8.000
    5.3%
NewsTrucking Regulation

Charges against truckers hauling hemp “absolutely horrific”


Pressure is mounting to drop charges against three truckers accused of illegally hauling hemp across Idaho.

“It’s absolutely horrific,” said Idaho Representative Ilana Rubel (D-Boise), a legislator who is working to get the charges dropped.

“It’s like a nightmare out of a novel,” she said. “These are hardworking people working for a trucking company. This is what they do for a living – take this load from here to there. This is a good that has been legalized federally. They are doing what their boss told them to do.”

“For doing their job, they are threatened with five years in prison.”

The Ada County Idaho Prosecutor’s Office has charged Andrew D’Addario, Erich Eisenhart and Denis Palamarchuk for illegally driving hemp into Idaho. D’Addario and Eisenhart transported the cannabis product before it became legal at the federal level last year. Palamarchuk was arrested separately for transporting the material across the Oregon-Idaho border – after the federal law had passed.

Idaho does not distinguish between marijuana and hemp. State law defines marijuana as “all parts of the plant of the genus cannabis, regardless of species.” The law states that any “evidence” of THC “shall create a presumption that such material is ‘marijuana’ as defined and prohibited herein.”

Legislators considered several bills during the recent legislative session to legalize hemp in Idaho. None of them passed, and transportation of hemp is still illegal.

Eisenhart and D’Addario are set for sentencing on June 25 and could face up to five years in prison. Palamarchuk is scheduled to go to trial in October.

As of Thursday morning, 9,455 people had signed an online petition calling on the county prosecutor, Jan M. Bennetts, to drop charges against the truckers.

In an ironic twist, the Idaho State Police in February shipped samples of the product confiscated from Palamarchuk’s truck to Kentucky, where it was tested for THC, the chemical found in high concentrations in marijuana – but not in hemp.

The testing bore out claims issued by the shipper that the 6,700 pounds of product in Palamarchuk’s truck was hemp, not marijuana. The irony resides in the fact that law enforcement officials shipped a cannabis product across state lines.

“With all the federal eyes looking at the Idaho case, what’s interesting is that the state shipped product to Kentucky to be tested,” observed Beau Whitney, a senior economist with New Frontier Data, a cannabis intelligence firm.  “I don’t know how they got it there, but I found it really fascinating.”

Tim Marsano, a spokesperson for the Idaho State Police, said while the department won’t comment on the ongoing investigation, “I will tell you that items that enter our evidence chain of custody can be legally shipped across state borders for laboratory testing.”

The Ada County prosecutor’s office does not comment on pending litigation, a spokesperson told FreightWaves.

Initially, Idaho police declined to release results of the THC testing, Representative Rubel noted.

“They were doing a victory lap off of this guy [Palmarchuk], who had voluntarily presented his bill of lading, pitching it as ‘the state’s biggest drug bust,’” she said.

Only after a court order did they release the results of the test showing the product was indeed hemp.

In Idaho, that isn’t enough to get the charges dropped.

“There is a tight window of time right now to save these guys,” Representative Rubel said. “Once that sentencing happens there is no option to get these guys on their way in life without a criminal record.”

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Linda Baker, Staff Writer

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves staff reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes mobility, emissions regulations and autonomous trucking. Please send tips and story ideas to lbaker@freightwaves.com.

84 Comments

  1. What really gets me is that the first cash crop in the USA was not potatoes, not tobacco ,it was Hemp !
    Our country was foundef on hemp the male plant.
    Hemp was used to make texyiles rope sails for our ships and Navy ,clothes ect.So the legalization of transport of he p should jave been geferalized a long time ago. Idaho was not one original 13 colonies, but but somewhere there’s got to be a grandfather clause that covers the transportation of hemp in all 50 states because it was used for textiles back in the 1800s. Fast Ford to the Nixon regime where President Nixon declares marijuana is a gateway drug, so being a the male species of marijuana hip gets a bad name too.The the reason or at least one of the reasons marijuana has not been legalized is the fact it really couldn’t tax it well States and found a way to tax it for medicinal and recreational use now because it is not did I say the cash crop did it once was for the cartels exedra. they have a new product that government can tax so since their cash crop is changed legalization of marijuana images of breakfast is in southern states have recreational purposes who legalized it Nixon quoted it is a gateway drug you know and it might be but there’s never been one reported case of somebody using too much marijuana and dying there been no just reported from the consumption of too much marijuana it is not like alcohol cocaine prescription drugs anyway back to transportation of hamster Idaho it’s a bullshit law they just want who comes out of money it’s only what they want money they’re not selling enough potatoes or something 3 hard working man truck drivers they’re just doing their job anything if you have to drop the damn charges or something with a misdemeanor and let them go

    1. In AUSTRALUA the drug trade is legalized .
      Reason to boost jobs for hospitals.prisons.morgue.,courts ,police .magistraites
      insurance compAmy’s.,rehabilitation programs etc
      The western system would fail and collapse if media did not promote push crime ,violence ,misery, poverty .,drugs …

      The law has no intention of stopping drug trafficking
      The USA military ,red cross has been trafficking drugs into Philippines sea ports ,air ports under military to destroy democracy to control governments of all nations to create wars to destroy nations to set up Catholic church Govorment..
      Australia is run by stogies and university drop kicks whom get paid to play games ..

  2. If I remember from my high school biology class- almost all plants contain thc, its just highly concentrated in the blossoms of cannabis plants. I think I remember learning that hemp wasn’t actually the cannabis plant, it was found growing along side it (not real sure about that). And in the 1700’s farmers were required to grow hemp as a staple crop because it was so useful to industry, nothing to do with smoking it. This is stupid af. Wish the people that were pushing this would have to get locked up for ignorance.

  3. I’m not sure what that dumb ass was talking about marijuana hasn’t been federally recognized yet or legalized. There’s a current bill in the house that’s being looked at. But it hasn’t been federally recognized yet. Another stupid Democrat that can’t get their facts straight.

  4. Get off your high horse. There is no justice in our so called justice system. Someone of authority needs to step in and correct this injustice.
    They’re going to ruin these lives along with their families for what???? Its hard enough making an honest living and only getting harder as our politicians continue to think raising taxes will solve their budget issues .
    STOP THIS !!!!! We can’t let it happen.
    If it wasn’t for the high expense to bypass Idaho, I would agree to boycott the whole state.
    IDAHO DO WHAT’S MORALLY RIGHT!!!!
    DROP THE F***ING CHARGES.

  5. Idaho… someone needs to be slapped.. ruin the lives of these men so someone can make there career. Then in 6 months the law will change and these guys will be ruined:/ sad sad state our county is in

  6. I think it’s a dam shame how our road kings get kicked in the rear for hauling a product that the country need. The problem is that they not are up to date being Idaho where all you see is pototos rolling down the street.Wake Up Idaho wrong crime and no dam glory.

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