Last week the Pleasant Grove Police Department served a search warrant at a home on the western side of the city after reports of drug activity in the area. After entering the house, officers allegedly found what was considered to be a “dispensary” inside.
After receiving the reports of large amounts of foot traffic coming in and out of the home, the department began attempting to confirm that there were illegal drug transactions taking place. This was done through surveillance and traffic stops on vehicles leaving the home.
Captain Britt Smith called the operation an illegal dispensary as officers reportedly seized over 2 pounds of raw marijuana, nearly 300 THC vape cartridges, large amounts of THC wax, liquid THC, edible marijuana, and psilocybin mushrooms.
The total monetary value of the items seized is approximately $30,000, according to Smith. He added that the items are believed to have been purchased legally in a different state and then brought into Utah County.
“Judging from the amount, it’s pretty safe to say she had a fairly constant flow of traffic coming through there,” Smith said. “To the point that others noticed.”
After posting the story on the department’s Facebook page, Smith said that many people were not happy with the department.
The Facebook post had over 1,000 comments as of Wednesday night, and many were complaining about officers seizing marijuana.
“With all of the criticism we are getting, the fact of the matter is the neighborhood is extremely happy with what we did and the fact that their neighborhood is cleaned up and they don’t have that type of business there,” Smith said. “Everybody wants to legalize, it’s legal in other states, but they don’t issue permits for marijuana dispensaries in residential neighborhoods. Even in these states where it is legalized. To operate that type of business, whether you agree with it or not, I think everyone can agree with the fact that that business should not be operated in a residential neighborhood around children.”
Smith continued, saying that he does not make the laws, he only enforces them. When a report comes in about a crime, it would be inappropriate to not respond if marijuana is involved, according to Smith.
There were also concerns about marijuana being sold to minors in the area, something that cannot be regulated if the business is not licensed and just selling marijuana out of a home.
“Maybe it’s just coincidence but the crime statistics say what they say,” Smith said. “We’ve noticed increased crime in that neighborhood for the last little bit. Whether it’s directly related to the sale of marijuana or not, I honestly could not tell you that there is a direct connection there. Anecdotally that’s just the way it is. if you’ve got drug activity then the crime rate is probably going to go up too.”
The biggest message Smith stressed was that recreational marijuana is illegal in the state of Utah and until that law changes, the Pleasant Grove Police Department will continue to conduct similar investigations.