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Denver Pot Farmer Behind Bars After Mailing Weed To Chicago...Again

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Apr 7, 2015 3:45PM

Photo Credit: Laughing Squid
A Colorado pot grower is behind bars in Chicago for the second time in five years after police allegedly found him opening a seven-pound package of marijuana that was mailed to a store in Kenwood this winter.

Police arrested Ryan Bailey after he allegedly opened the package he received in the mail—the second time the 32 year-old from Colorado has been accused of sending packages of marijuana to Chicago through UPS. Bailey was given a six year prison sentence for felony marijuana possession in Cook County in 2012, and he was let out on parole last August.

The Chicago Police Department obtained a warrant to search the package, sent from a fictitious address in Colorado, after the United Parcel Service told officers that it smelled strongly of cannabis. The package was delivered to a cell phone store on East 47th Street.

Bailey told the Sun-Times in 2012 that he moved to Colorado about five years ago in hopes of cashing in on the state's fledgling medical marijuana industry. Soon after, Bailey was arrested in a home on the Northwest Side of Chicago after police allegedly found him holding a package of more than 40 pounds of marijuana, valued at over $300,000.

While Bailey is likely among many entrepreneurs who have tried to build a fortune off of Colorado’s landmark marijuana laws, most haven’t run afoul of authorities. As Illinois slowly transitions into legalizing medical marijuana cultivation and sales, some have speculated how the new industry will affect the criminal pot trade in Chicago and beyond. State authorities have said Illinois's industry will be smaller and more heavily-regulated than Colorado's, which should make it easier to enforce the law.

On the other side of the legal divide, some Illinois residents are petitioning the state to broaden its list of medical conditions that are eligible for the new medical marijuana program. Among the 20 medical conditions petitioners are requesting state officials add to the list are anxiety, migraines, bipolar disorder, psoriasis, gout, insomnia, autism, chronic back pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Illinois's current law lists cancer and multiple sclerosis among the diseases that can qualify someone for medical marijuana but it has been criticized by some for being too narrow. The state Department of Public Health may approve changes to that list after a public hearing is held May 4. Some petitioners who suffer from conditions not included under the law told state officials they are already using marijuana illegally to treat their conditions, but would prefer the ability to obtain it above board.