Christmas came early for one Hickory, North Carolina man. But what Santa giveth, Santa taketh away. Last week, Kelly Hines, 53, was charged with two counts of trafficking marijuana among a slew of other charges. This occured after authorities found about 20 weed plants the size of Christmas trees on his property in Catawba County.
The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office accidentally stumbled upon the trees when they were investigating an unrelated tip about another house in the area. According to the department, the plants were in open view to anyone driving on the road.
Upon seeing the plants, they went to the farm to investigate. There they found the giant 20-plant stash, with some of weighing over 23 pounds.
Catawba county Sheriff Coy Reid said that Hines lives alone at the residence and is insisting he has not broken any laws. “His comment is he has never done anything wrong and this is his property and he should be able to do whatever he wants on it,” Reid said.
Reid said that he responded to Hines, saying that although marijuana is legal in other states, in North Carolina weed is still illegal. “This amount of marijuana is way too much for one person,” Reid went on to say.
According to the Hickory Record, “In addition to the criminal charges, the North Carolina Department of Revenue taxed the suspect more than $66,000 for the marijuana.”
Wait a minute. So it’s illegal to have it, and if you get caught (like Hines did) you face a ton of jail time and fines, but you also have to pay taxes on it? Seems fair.
North Carolina, you are home to the Stoned Girls headquarters, but we’re disappointed. Either legalize marijuana and tax it, or continue to put people in jail for it. You can’t have both.