Two pensioners have been caught with £250,000's worth of high-grade cannabis, which they claimed they intended to give away as Christmas presents.

Patrick and Barbara Jiron were pulled over in a regulation traffic stop in York, Nebraska on Tuesday and the drugs were discovered in the boot of their Toyota pickup truck. York County police estimated that the street value of the drugs, which weighed over 27kg, was in the range of $336,000 (£250,000).


Credit: York County Sheriff's Department

"They said the marijuana was for Christmas presents," said Lt. Paul Vrbka of York County Sheriff's office. The vehicle had been pulled over after local police spotted it straying over the centre line of the road and noticed the driver failing to signal correctly.

The officers who made the stop were accompanied by a dog unit, which sniffed the marijuana. Arresting officers later reported that they could smell the strong scent of the cannabis as soon as they stopped the elderly couple in the pickup truck. The drugs were stashed in the back of the truck, concealed within boxes and plastic bags.


Credit: York County Sheriff's Department

Patrick, aged 80, and his wife Barbara, 83, were immediately arrested and taken to the local police station. Patrick was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and for lacking a drug tax stamp, while Barbara was released with just a citation.

The pair, from Clearlake Oaks, California, were driving across the United States to the state of Vermont for the holidays. The couple were around halfway through a 3,000-mile journey when they were picked up.


Credit: PA

Nebraska has not legalised marijuana and remains one of the most restrictive states in the Union regarding cannabis prohibition, although it's one of the few states in which hemp grows naturally. California has legalised weed, meaning that the product could have been purchased legitimately there. Vermont allows medical marijuana use, though recreational use is yet to be legalised.

Meanwhile, the United Nations and the World Health Organisation have argued that penalties for all crimes relating to illegal drugs possession should be dropped.

UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres said: "Millions of people across the world use drugs without posing any harm to others.

"Criminalising them is unnecessary, it's harmful, it's not proportional, and, to us, it undermines the right to privacy and the right to human dignity and personal autonomy."

Words: Mike Meehall Wood

Featured Image Credit: York County Sheriff's Department

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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