Only on occasion do Washington residents show up with pot in North Idaho, said Lt. Stu Miller.
"They bring their marijuana and medical cards, and say, 'I've got a prescription for it,'" said Miller, with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. "And we say, 'Idaho doesn't recognize that at all,' and we seize that as well as anything else they might have."
But such instances might be more common next year, some law enforcement officials fear, thanks to the recent marijuana referendum passed across the state line.
"Lots of them," Miller said when asked if he has concerns.
With Washington already allowing medical marijuana, state residents voted last week to take a toke to satisfy any other needs.
That is, this November election saw Washington and Colorado become the first two states to legalize recreational use of marijuana.
Under Washington's measure, people 21 and older are allowed personal possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Cannabis will be sold and taxed at retail outlets regulated by the Washington State Liquor Control Board.
Growing pot and public use are still verboten.
While this is a great step for stoners, there remains the question of the impact on North Idaho.
Some worry more tourists will be crossing the nearby border to experience relaxation on a whole new level.
"It's going to impact both states, probably pretty significantly," Miller said.
He sees many implications for North Idaho, he said. Like more incidents of Washington residents driving across the border high, or ferrying their personal pot into Kootenai County.
"Washington residents, especially from Spokane and Eastern Washington, come to Idaho a ton to recreate," Miller said.
Visitors carrying weed into Idaho would give rise to other issues, he added, like more influenced behavior, higher prevalence of a gateway drug, more need for law enforcement presence.
Miller couldn't predict if many Idaho residents will venture into Washington to procure pot.
"All these regulations still have yet to be written," he said, noting that Washington has until December 2013 to establish the law's procedures. "You'll probably have to show some sort of state residency (to buy weed), but these are all speculations."
While Miller said border watches are unlikely, the department might crack down in other ways.
"We obviously have some planning to do," he said. "We'll need to make sure we're up to speed on all the regulations and rules for Washington, because we're so close."
Dep. Mark Gregory with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said his agency also has much to analyze about the new law's effects.
"We're concerned about the whole situation," Gregory said. "We don't want to see anybody get hurt, and the concern of driving intoxicated or high, whether on alcohol or marijuana or anything else, is a great concern of ours."
So many questions still remain, he said. Especially over the fact that marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
"I know there's tons of meetings going on throughout the state over this," Gregory said. "We're looking at all of our options at this point."
Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh doesn't expect North Idaho courts will be notably impacted by the new law.
"I think we'll have maybe a slight increase in cases, just because people will either inadvertently or intentionally cross over while in possession, and may get caught," McHugh said. "I think the great majority of people will understand that while it may be legal in Washington, it is not in Idaho."
In Idaho, possession of less than 3 ounces of weed is a misdemeanor, penalized by up to a 1-year jail sentence or up to $1,000 fine. More than 3 ounces means a felony penalty of up to five years in jail, or up to a $10,000 fine.
Spokespeople for the Coeur d'Alene Police and Idaho State Police said their agencies aren't making predictions at this time over the new law.
They will continue to enforce the law as usual, the officials said.
"Being pinched in between two medical marijuana states, Montana and Washington, it's already been an issue with us," said ISP Commander Curtis Kastens.
Miller expects one demographic will definitely experience changes from the law, though.
"That will be a bigger issue than anything, the accessibility kids will have," Miller said.
He expects that where kids once sneaked into their parents' liquor cabinets, now they'll be reaching for their parents' legalized stash.
"I think now you're going to see where parents that have legal marijuana are going to be supplying to their kids," he said, pointing to home parties he has seen where parents give their children alcohol. "Kids from Idaho and kids from Washington all end up at some of the same gatherings."
But Scot Haug, Post Falls Police chief, anticipates it will take a year to see how the law really plays out.
"My first reaction is, if it is legal in Washington, it's probably going to result in additional possession of it as people come over here," Haug said. "There's going to be a learning curve. I think people will push the envelope a little bit."
The department isn't making special preparations at this point, he said.
"To me, it's business as normal," Haug said. "Our priorities are still our priorities."