ALPHARETTA, Ga. - Alpharetta police are promising to crack down on the sale of illegal drugs outside a popular concert venue after a recent bust yielded large amounts of marijuana-laced candy.
Police told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik that undercover officers found large amounts of cash, Ecstacy and five pounds of THC-laced gummy candies and lollipops after arresting a Tennessee couple at a show for jam band Widespread Panic.
“We simply don’t want it here and aren’t going to tolerate it,” said Alpharetta Department of Public Safety spokesman George Gordon. “As long as concerts have existed, there are going to be people who come to concerts and attempt to sell narcotics.”
Gordon said 26-year-old Jennifer Vaughn offered to sell drugs to an undercover detective on a sting outside the show at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
“Later into the evening, the undercover detective goes into the parking lot and he observes a male and a female that have set up a booth selling jewelry in the parking lot near our venue,” said Gordon.
Gordon said Vaughn and Dillon Tarver, also 26, sold the officers the so-called “edibles,” and after their arrest, led them to a stash that included cash and 5 pounds of the candy.
“It’s a particular concert that attracts a particular crowd, and in this particular incident, she came with 5 pounds of marijuana-laced candy and was simply going to sell it to whoever was going to buy it,” Gordon said.
Vaughn and Tarver are facing charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
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Gordon said police are concerned about people buying the drugs and then getting behind the wheel after consuming them.
“Especially on a roadway,” he said. “It’s equally as dangerous as a drunk driver.”
Petchenik found parent Matt Anderson buying tickets to an upcoming concert at the venue.
He told Petchenik the drug sales were concerning to him.
“I have three daughters -- teenagers,” he said. “So it makes me nervous.”
Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Petchenik the punishment doesn’t fit the crime in instances such as this.
“We don’t want to see people breaking the law, but sometimes laws need to change,” he said. “I would imagine there were at least as many people consuming alcohol, which we know is far more harmful.”
Lindsey’s organization is lobbying to legalize marijuana.
“You’re better off changing your laws,” he said. “Bring them more in line with the relative harms of these substances. Allow law enforcement to focus on some more serious crime.”
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