A tip led police to investigate a barn for possible marijuana cultivation in Covert Township, less than an hour outside Kalamazoo. The tip proved correct, as the Feb. 13 drug raid resulted in 27 marijuana plants seized.
Narcotics detectives from the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office noticed a white van back up to the barn. Officers made contact with a man after he went inside the barn. After obtaining a search warrant, officers saw that the barn was being remodeled. Two of the rooms were specifically for growing marijuana.
Along with the plants, police seized several one-pound bags of processed marijuana, as well as paperwork, scales and packaging materials. A Mercedes Benz van and $800 in cash was also found at the residence. Police arrested three men in conjunction with the case.
Possession of marijuana violates federal laws, as well as most state laws. Some states allow medical marijuana or marijuana for personal use in small amounts. Although marijuana has largely become decriminalized, possession of any drug can still result in criminal charges. However, there are several elements that must be proven. The offender must have known that the marijuana in his or her possession was a controlled substance. In addition, he or she must have knowingly had possession of the drug, rather than having it "planted" on his or her body or in personal belongings.
Drug possession laws prohibit drug paraphernalia as well. This includes crack pipes, bongs, syringes and even certain chemicals used to make drugs. Other objects can be considered drug paraphernalia, depending on how they are primarily used.
Source: MLive, "Marijuana, cash and a Mercedes Benz van seized in Covert Township raid," Rosemary Parker, Feb. 14, 2013