Pot, Cops and Wacky Phone Calls: A Brief History
Say what you will about the Sharonville, Ohio, police. But you can’t deny that they have a sense of humor.
In an incident that has already gone semi-viral, the cops in that town were on the receiving end of a phone call recently from a man who accused them – the cops, that is – of stealing four grams of his “really f---ing good weed,” and demanding that they return it.
Apparently thinking of nearby Cincinnati’s recently enacted marijuana ordinance that decriminalizes possession of less than 100 grams, the man believed that it applied to Sharonville, which is 10 miles to the north. Told (a) that they didn’t have his weed, and (b) that marijuana is still illegal there in Hamilton County, the man reportedly calmed down and backed off.
The Sharonville Police, however, took advantage of the incident to provide a Teachable Moment for the public, posting the audio of the call on their Facebook page along with a reminder that marijuana possession there is still against the law. “We feel that some people may be a bit in the weeds so we would like to take this opportunity to clear the haze,” the police wrote. “To be blunt, recreational marijuana is still ILLEGAL.”
Pot and Phone Calls Don’t Mix
And there the matter might rest.
Except that it would be negligent on our part to let that happen when, in fact, there is a fairly long list of humorous incidents involving pot, cops, and telephone calls. So, in the spirit of the Sharonville Police and their commitment to public betterment, we pass on what we know:
- In 2015, a woman in Fort Myers, Florida, called 911 to complain about a pot dealer after she bought $75 worth of marijuana and felt she was shorted.
- In 2006, a Dearborn, Michigan, police corporal called 911 to report that the pot-laced brownies he and his wife ate were making them so sick that “I think we’re dying.” The officer, who admitted that he confiscated the pot from a suspect and decided to use it in his first effort at making pot brownies, later resigned.
- In 2011, a Farmington, Connecticut, man was arrested after he called 911 to ask whether it was legal to grow one marijuana plant. When the dispatcher told him that meant he was in possession of a controlled substance, the man hung up. Police then went to the man’s home, found the plant, and arrested him.
- In 2015, two drug traffickers en route from Las Vegas to Bozeman, Montana, with 20 pounds of pot felt they were being followed by police when they entered Idaho, pulled over, and called 911 to say they were “trying to bring some stuff through your border” and wanted the police to stop following them. The dispatcher requested their location, the traffickers provided it, and police came and arrested them.
- In 2011, a Colorado man called 911 to say that his marijuana had been stolen by a customer who tasered him and ran off with the stash after the two had met to consummate a drug deal. Police caught the thief but also arrested the caller because he had enough weed on him to be labeled a dealer.
- While not an emergency call, two policemen from Toronto were suspended in 2008 after they ate some pot edibles from a marijuana dispensary raid while on duty, got too high, and had to call in for help because they were incapable of doing their jobs.
Of course, some of these incidents occurred in states where pot is now legal. But the point here should be clear: Before you go and call the cops about your missing weed, make sure it’s a legal commodity in your state.
- Federal Marijuana Laws (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
- Can You Patent Pot? (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise)
- Even With Legalization, Illicit Pot Is Still a Problem (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise)
- Details on State Marijuana Laws (FindLaw’s State Criminal Law)
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