UPDATE AT 3:45 P.M. EASTERN — The Vermont Legislature, on Wednesday, became the first in the nation to approve the legalization of recreational marijuana, according to the Los Angeles Times. Other states allowed voters to decide at the ballot box. This newly approved bill, which the Republican governor is expected to sign, would not make it legal to possess or transport 60 pounds of marijuana.
80-year-old Patrick Jiron and his 70-year-old wife Barbara made national news last month after they were caught transporting 60 pounds of marijuana they claimed was merely “Christmas gifts” for their relatives. Now they’ve managed to get themselves in trouble again in another bizarre traffic stop.
The Jirons were driving from California, where recreational pot is legal, to Vermont, where only medical use is allowed, when they hit a spot of trouble in Nebraska in late December. A York County Sheriff’s deputy spotted their Toyota Tacoma weaving over the centerline without signaling.
Lieutenant Paul Vrbka pulled the Jirons over on Interstate 80 west of Lincoln and couldn’t help but notice a very strong odor of raw marijuana wafting up from the back of the pickup truck. After a search, he discovered 60 pounds of pot in boxes underneath the pickup topper.
Patrick and Barbara claimed the $336,000 worth of high-grade marijuana was intended to be gifts and said they “didn’t know it was illegal to transport marijuana in Nebraska.” Barbara got off easy “due to medical issues,” but Patrick was arrested. He got out of jail after posting 10 percent of his $100,000 bond, according to the York News-Times.
Both of them were scheduled to appear in court this month, but before their court date, the California couple was arrested again. Guess where? In the same state, on the same highway, in the same truck as last time.
Two Nebraska counties over from the December traffic stop, the Jirons were pulled over after a deputy from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department noticed their truck tailgating another vehicle on Tuesday. This time it was their daughter from Vermont in the driver’s seat of the truck.
After a K-9 service dog detected a pot smell in the Tacoma, the vehicle was searched, revealing $18,000 in cash in a duffel bag and other places that “tested positive for a strong odor of marijuana.” A garbage bag in the truck contained raw marijuana residue, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
Despite claiming the money wasn’t theirs, the elderly Jirons were both arrested. Their 42-year-old daughter Mariah got off with a warning.
Authorities suspect that the $18,000 in cash is drug money, which would explain some notes in the truck that indicated marijuana transactions. Patrick and Barbara, however, have already both bailed themselves out of jail after paying 10 percent of their $2,500 bails.
In another bizarre twist, it was revealed Patrick and Barbara’s son Justin Jiron is a Chittenden County, Vermont prosecutor, the Burlington Free Press reports.
Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George insisted, "Justin is in no way connected to this allegation other than by relation. Justin is and has been a dedicated public servant for over 15 years and I assure you he is as surprised and upset about these allegations as anyone."
What do you think about all of this? In other news, a well-known megachurch pastor has come forward with a deeply troubling confession.