It is now officially a crime in the Golden State for your money to smell like illegal contraband -- specifically our good old friend Mary Jane.
At least that appears to be the consensus of one California jury, who turned in guilty verdict against Sebastopol resident William David Bush on Friday for the crime of possessing money collected from the sale of marijuana. However, what is interesting about this particular case is why Bush was charged with this particular offense in the first place.
According to reports, police arrested Bush last week after a routine traffic stop for speeding led to the search of his vehicle, uncovering nearly $50,000 in cash stowed away in his trunk. When officers questioned him regarding the source of such a large amount of money, Bush offered up several explanations, including that it had come from both his mother and an ATM business that he operates.
Interestingly, even though a more extensive search did not uncover any punishable traces of marijuana, officers believed that the money reeked of pot so intensely that there was no other rational explanation for the loot besides being the product of a felonious drug deal.
Prosecutor Sharmalee Rajakumaran says that one of the arresting officers reported that the odor coming off the money was so overwhelming that he could smell it across the road.
Strangely, jurors managed to convict Bush, who represented himself in court, after a two-day trial, without first being permitted to smell the evidence for themselves. Instead, the prosecution based its entire case on the arresting officers’ initial report, as well as a note found in his truck allegedly describing several marijuana strains and some receipts for items used by outdoor horticulturists.
Bush is scheduled to appear back in court on October 24th where he could be sentenced to as much as four years in prison.
In our opinion, the possibility of receiving such a stiff sentence for such a offense is what really stinks.