Updated Jun 13, 2012 - 3:00 pm
Medical marijuana card holder arrested with six times legal amount, $10K cash
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.
Martha Maurer, News Editor