Catawba County narcotics officers arrested a police dispatcher’s husband after finding 65 pounds of cannabis in the couple’s house in Claremont, North Carolina. The seized cannabis is estimated to have a street value of at least $130,000.
Blong Ly Vang and his wife, Victoria, initially allowed the cops to search their house but they revoked consent when three pounds of weed were discovered. The police had to execute a second search, and this time, they found two large plastic containers full of “high-grade” cannabis hidden inside the couple’s bedroom.
Aside from the bundles of weed, officers also seized a handgun that had been reported stolen all the way from Georgia, as well as another weapon, vacuum sealers, and digital scales. The digital scales and the vacuum sealers made it clear that the Vangs had been dealing cannabis.
Victoria Vang is now subject to an internal investigation amidst concerns about her using sensitive insider information.
This is said to be Catawba County Drug Task Force’s largest cannabis seizure so far this year.
Vang is detained at the Catawba County Detention Facility and is now facing felony charges. He was charged with one count of cannabis trafficking by possession, one count of keeping a dwelling for controlled substances, one count of possession of a stolen firearm, and one count of possession of weapon by a convicted felon.
In North Carolina, cannabis is still illegal for medical and recreational uses.
Vang’s wife, a police dispatcher with the Hickory police department, is no longer employed, although no charges have been filed against her yet. She is now subject to an internal investigation as there are concerns raised about her using sensitive insider information for personal gains.
According to Captain Jason Reid, they have confidential informants that they are protecting and they want to make sure Victoria Vang did not access these informants’ names through the police database. For now, he said that they do not have any information proving that she had.
In North Carolina, cannabis is still illegal for both medical and recreational uses.
Cannabis in North Carolina
In North Carolina, cannabis is still illegal for both medical and recreational uses. There is, however, an exception — albeit extremely narrow — in the case of medical cannabis.
This means that medical cannabis is approved for use only by patients with very specific medical conditions. Patients suffering from intractable epilepsy can use hemp extracts with up to 5 percent CBD and less than 0.9 percent THC. These qualified patients can purchase medical cannabis in a state where medical cannabis has been legalized.
Adult-use cannabis has been decriminalized in 1977 and the possession of small amounts of the drug are subject to reduced penalty. First-time offenders who are caught in possession of only up to 0.5 ounces of cannabis will no longer face imprisonment. The offense will be considered a misdemeanor and those who are caught will only need to pay a fine of up to $200.
There had been a previous attempt to legalize medical cannabis in 2014. However, that bill was tossed out by the House Committee in 2015. The House Committee even issued an unfavorable report, effectively blocking the body from considering medical cannabis-related bills for the next couple of years.
Now that the two years have passed, House Bill 983 has been introduced. The current bill is focused on legalizing the use of medical cannabis. The measure would allow some certified physicians to give out medical cannabis prescriptions to patients diagnosed with chronic or terminal diseases.
This bill still needs to be approved by the House Health Committee before it can proceed forward and seek the approval of the state congress and senate.