Weed busts blowing up for police
Michigan State Police are calling it an epidemic.
The number of people being arrested for illegally trafficking marijuana has dramatically increased so far this year compared to last.
We talked to troopers Wednesday to see what is behind the trend.
Michigan State Police Gaylord Post has a special unit to watch trunk lines, like I-75, and stop drug runners. The unit has uncovered a growing trend, and thatâ??s medical marijuana cards being used as a front more and more.
"Distribution is a real issue right now. Theyâ??re carrying cards, but they're carrying a lot more marijuana then they would be to give to chronically ill patients, in my opinion, it's become a real problem," said Sgt. Jeff Gorno of MSP Gaylord Post.
Year to date, 87 have been arrested for transporting marijuana illegally. Last year at this point, the number was 25. Police say itâ??s the age of those being arrested thatâ??s concerning, most are 20 and 30 year olds, who are on their way to places like college campuses.
Troopers believe some are going out of bounds when they apply for and receive their medical marijuana card. Theyâ??re using it for reasons that weren't necessarily the reasons the law passed in the first place. They believe that I-75 is being used to create a pretty lucrative business for some who have the card and for others who want to smoke weed.
â??It's also giving the person that doesn't have a medical marijuana card direct access to marijuana, so it's becoming an epidemic," said Gorno.
Gorno said there are people who use the card legitimately, but the people his team is picking up are abusing the system for personal gain.
â??Did we ever have a complete handle on marijuana distribution, probably not, but at least we were in the battle, you know, this has just caused us to maybe even go further behind," says Gorno.
Gorno says most of the people being arrested claim to have the medical marijuana card for "chronic pain" in the shoulder, on the knee.
But he believes the law was passed for people with more serious conditions, like those who have cancer or are terminally ill.