Franklin County has a Route Marijuana running through its boundaries. Officially it’s known as Interstate 44, which enters the county at Sullivan and travels through St. Clair and Pacific. I-44 is a short distance from Washington and Union.

It has been known for years that marijuana is transported through the county by vehicles using I-44. Every now and then, the illegal drugs are found in vehicles that are stopped for whatever reasons. This past week, officers traced a car to St. Clair that had avoided an I-44 drug interdiction check point east of St. Clair. With the use of a drug-sniffing dog, more than 30 pounds of marijuana were found in the trunk of the vehicle. Officers said the street value was $90,000 to $100,000.

Two men traveling from California to New York were arrested. Authorities believe the marijuana was grown in a large scale growing operation in California and shipped all around the country. The suspects were released on the condition they return to California, report to federal Drug Enforcement Administration investigators there, and assist them. If they don’t do that, they will be named in felony warrants and eventually taken into custody.

Officers believe that a large amount of illegal drugs pass through Franklin County on I-44 on a regular basis. This has been the situation for many years. This county is not the final destination. It is delivered to points in the eastern part of the country. Not all of it, of course, comes from California.

It’s too bad that our law enforcement officers don’t have the resources to conduct more drug interdiction check points on I-44. If they did, there would be more arrests and more illegal drugs confiscated.

Old Route 66 became I-44. It now is Route Marijuana!