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During a routine traffic stop Indiana State Police stubbled upon a California man with 1,215 pounds of marijuana. On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, troopers pulled over a van for a moving violation. A police dog alerted officers to the 38 large boxes and six garbage bags full of ganja.
Authorities estimate the marijuana has a street value of around $5.7 to $8.5 million. The driver was identified as Christopher S. Colburn. He is 31-years-old and from McKinleyville, California. Officers were able to arrest Colburn without any incidents.
The van was on the highway near Lowell, Indiana when officers pulled Colburn over. Lowell is located roughly 50 miles southeast of Chicago, Illinois.
Colburn was taken to Lake County Jail and charged with a Level 6 felony possession of marijuana and a Level 5 felony for dealing marijuana. Upon further inspection, Indiana officers found that each bag and box contained a total of 1,264 individually sealed bags.
In the state of Indiana, the law states that a person who is charged with cultivating or selling — 10 pounds or more — marijuana could face up to six years in prison. According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws, they can also face a fine of up to $10,000.
All across the United States, marijuana sales have been spiking — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Leafy, in 2020 Americans spent roughly 71 percent more on cannabis than in 2019. In recent years, many states have begun relaxing their laws and restriction on marijuana.
Some states have adopted laws to legalize cannabis for recreational, medicinal, or even both. These states have decriminalized possession of marijuana. Usually, these states have stipulations on their possession laws. For instance, people cannot possess more than an ounce and a half of marijuana.
However, in Indiana, any amount of cannabis is considered a Class B misdemeanor. This holds a maximum of 180 days in prison and up to a $1,000 fine. Indiana does allow the sale and possession of CBD products. These products can only contain less than 0.3 percent of THC — which is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The Hill: Indiana police dog finds millions of dollars worth of marijuana in routine traffic stop: police; by Celine Castronuovo
NBC – WLWT 5: Routine traffic stop leads Indiana troopers to seize half a ton of marijuana
Featured Image Courtesy of David Gach’s Flickr Page Creative Commons License