(La Porte, IN) - A man and woman allegedly caught in Indiana with 15 pounds of dispensary marijuana products legally purchased in southwest Michigan could face drug-dealing charges.
Under Indiana law, marijuana is still illegal, and the large amount confiscated exceeds what’s necessary to look at while pursuing felony drug dealing charges.
The brother and sister from Wisconsin were apparently heading back home on the Indiana Toll Road before being pulled over by La Porte County Police for speeding on September 3rd.
During the traffic stop, the driver, Marsha Cruz, 43, purportedly told the officer they went to Buchanan (where several marijuana dispensaries operate) to “hang out” for a few hours.
Her answers to follow-up questions from the officer provided no real specifics on their purpose for driving over three hours from Waukesha County in Wisconsin, a state where marijuana also remains against the law.
Cruz also changed the subject multiple times during her conservation with the officer, seemingly trying to evade his efforts at getting to the truth.
According to police, she then denied having any drugs in the vehicle when asked by the officer, becoming more suspicious about their reason for the trip.
Eventually, her brother, Miguel Cruz, 49, allegedly revealed they drove to Buchanan to obtain dispensary marijuana. A search of the 2013 Cadillac allegedly turned up four large paper bags containing various dispensary products.
Some of the marijuana was raw or contained in pre-rolled cigarettes, others in the form of candy, drinks and wax containing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
The two individuals were given a warning ticket for speeding and allowed to go, but warrants for their arrests could be issued later, depending on the outcome of the investigation. The products were confiscated and stored as evidence for potential use in a criminal case.
Under Indiana law, marijuana weighing anywhere from 30 grams to 10 pounds could result in a Level 6 Felony Dealing in Marijuana charge punishable by a six month to 30 month sentence. Amounts exceeding 10 pounds can bring Level 5 Felony marijuana-dealing charge, which carries a potential one-to-six year sentence.
How the individuals obtained such a large quantity of dispensary marijuana is not known, but it could have been from multiple trips to more than one store.
In Michigan, there is no daily limit on how much dispensary marijuana can be purchased by an adult in a single day. However, each transaction is limited to no more than 2.5 grams.
La Porte County Sheriff Ron Heeg said he has no doubt anyone in possession of such large quantities of dispensary marijuana doesn’t have it just for their own personal use.
“15 pounds is not recreational. That’s distributing. Buying it to sell if off and everything else. That’s not recreational,” he said.
It could be difficult to pursue a drug-dealing charge in cases involving dispensary marijuana, because some products, like beverages, weigh much more than the intoxicating THC infused into the drinks.