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Updated Jun 13, 2012 - 3:00 pm

Medical marijuana card holder arrested with six times legal amount, $10K cash

Kirk Hutchins (Photo: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)

An Arizona medical marijuana card holder was arrested Tuesday after he was found to have more than six times the legal amount of marijuana permitted for card holders and $10,000 cash in his possession.

Pinal County Sheriff's Office contacted a Hyundai Elantra that was tailgating a Jeep around 9:00 p.m. When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver, Kirk Hutchins of Eloy, rolled down the window and the officer caught a strong smell of marijuana.

Hutchins presented the officer with his driver's license and medical marijuana card. He showed the deputy about two grams of marijuana. Hutchins' license was suspended, but he told the officer he was going to pay the fines next week to get the license reinstated.

As the officer questioned Hutchins, he noticed a strong odor of fresh marijuana. Hutchins said he had no additional marijuana in the car and did not give permission for his car to be searched.

Hutchins was arrested and his car was searched. He had $700 in his pocket, but $10,000 in cash and about two pounds of vacuum-sealed marijuana was found in a duffel bag.

With medical marijuana dispensaries open in Arizona, PCSO said they are concerned this could be a growing problem.

"Clearly Mr. Hutchins may have had the legal means to obtain approved medicinal marijuana, but he was abusing the system," said PSCO spokesman Elias Johnson. "This is is the difficulty that we're going to see as the medicinal marijuana use progresses here in Arizona and we have the dispensaries open up."

Johnson said that people who are abusing medical marijuana cards should be reported to police, as it is a serious offense.

Hutchins was charged with the possession, transportation and sale of marijuana and driving on a suspended license.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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