In Colorado, if you’re 21 or older, you’re free to buy, use, grow and give away cannabis. You can even apply for a sales license to grow and sell it for profit. But what you can’t do is take pounds of it across state lines and try to make a killing selling it for double what it goes for in Colorado. That’s no secret — as anyone with common sense knows.
According to Nashville cops, two Coloradans visiting Tennessee had a lot more cannabis than they did common sense: They were busted with more than 425 pounds of pot — worth an estimated $1.5 million — and $355,000 in cash.
The Nashville police nabbed Chris Crumbliss, 39, and Tasha Desmond, 21, after getting a tip that they were traveling to Music City, USA, from Breckenridge to set up a large pot deal; the cops sent in an undercover agent to buy 100 pounds of herb. According to court documents, Crumbliss and Desmond met the cop on the night of November 19 and arranged a deal for pot that was arriving later that night in a truck driven by Gary Chase, a sixty-year-old New Mexico resident. Around 11:15 p.m., Chase pulled up in the truck and Crumbliss allegedly went outside to get a sample of the buds. He allegedly showed the undercover cop, who approved the sample and left, telling the group that they would do the deal at another location. As soon as the undercover agent left the room, cops busted in and arrested Chase, Crumbliss and Desmond. Cops searched the truck and found the pot along with four pounds of hash, cash and seventeen disposable cell phones. The contents of the high-mileage truck indicated that Chase had been driving around the country on a “marijuana tour,” they say.
This is the fourth time that Crumbliss has been involved with law enforcement on pot-related dealings since 2006, when he was pulled over with 36 plants in his car. That round, he was found guilty of possessing less than an ounce (as well as paraphernalia) and driving under the influence. In 2007, Crumbliss and his wife, Tiffany, were charged in Larimer County for pot cultivation. Tiffany was later absolved of any charges; Crumbliss pleaded guilty to felony pot cultivation and took probation instead of jail time. He was busted again in 2008 with 200 plants and twenty pounds of pot, though no charges were filed.
Tiffany, the registered owner of Soul Shine Medical Consulting, a dispensary in Breckenridge, tells the Summit Daily News she’s been apart from her husband and that the pot he was allegedly dealing in Nashville has nothing to do with her dispensary. But she has hired an attorney, pot lawyer Sean McAllister, who told the Daily News Tennessee is asking for problems like this due to its pot laws. “The fact that marijuana remains illegal in Tennessee drives black-market marijuana in that state,” he said. “If they legalized it, they wouldn’t have this problem. Prohibition drives crime. This is another in a long line of messages to states like Tennessee that this approach is a failed approach.”
|The truck allegedly driven by Gary Chase.
In Tennessee, possession of more than a half-ounce immediately puts a suspect into the category of a dealer: possessing the pot with intent to distribute. Having more than 300 pounds of pot is a felony that carries between fifteen and sixty years in jail and $500,000 in fines. At the very least, first-time felony charges will net a fine of $2,000. Delivery or sale of the hash is a felony as well, carrying penalties of fifteen years in jail and $100,000 in fines.