Here at the National Cannabis Coalition, we believe marijuana will eventually be legalized nationwide. Until then, cannabis consumers must remain vigilant to avoid the long arm of the law. Nobody’s perfect and bad luck can help police take down even the most cautious tokers. However, in 2013, a few stoners managed to do everything in their power to help police bust them for weed. Here’s our look back at the top ten stupid ways stoners got busted in 2013, with the hope that readers will take these as important lessons in how to avoid a free ride in a cop car.
#10) Don’t park your car in the fire lane then complain to the cop with a joint behind your ear.
Blake James Roy of Texas parked his car in the fire lane at his apartment complex. When he notices his car was towed, he took his small child with him to knock on the door of the apartment security guard. When the guard, who also happened to be a Texas cop, noticed the joint Roy had behind his ear, Roy split, leaving his kid behind, only to be arrested seconds later when the cop ran him down.
#9) Don’t make weed deals by text message.
This October, Lt. Eric Danielson of the Andover Police bought a new cell phone with a new cell number. At least, it was new to Danielson, but apparently an old pot customer of Nicholas DeLear Jr. in New Jersey, as Danielson got a text message on his new phone from DeLear offering a quarter pound of pot for sale. Danielson sets up the deal at a local pizza parlor and DeLear shows up, but becomes suspicious. Cops stop his car, the K-9 smells the weed, and Danielson matches his texts up with DeLear’s phone to make the bust.
#8) Don’t show cell phone pictures of your junk to strangers when you’re trafficking pounds of weed.
Jeffrey Ash of Fayetteville, Arkansas, was staying in an airport motel in Boise, Idaho, and meets a woman he’d like to impress. Does he buy her flowers, ask her out for a drink, or engage conversation? Nope, he whips out his cell phone and shows her a picture of his penis – because this works on women every time (just ask Brett Favre and Anthony Weiner). The shocked woman calls the cops and when they’re interviewing Ash they discover he’s holding two duffel bags with 28.5 pounds of marijuana in them.
#7) Don’t lock your dog in the car with your jar of weed on a hot day.
Peter Giblin of Eastham, Massachusetts, left his golden retriever in his locked car in direct sunlight on bright spring day. Someone reported the poor dog trapped in the hot car and police arrived to find the dog dehydrated and the car’s internal temperature at 106 degrees. An hour later, Giblin returns to his car to receive not only the citation for animal cruelty, but also an arrest for the Mason jar full of weed packaged for resale that he’d left in the car with the dog. Folks, don’t leave your dog in the car on a sunny day – even with the windows cracked open, a car interior on a 70-degree day can rise to over 100 degrees very quickly.
#6) Don’t invite cops into your weed-filled house to talk about a neighborhood car prowler.
Jonathan Moreno in South Hempstead, New York, was profiled by cops on burglary patrol. They saw him peering into a parked 2005 Toyota at night. Moreno helpfully explained that the car was his own and he could show them registration and title to prove it. Why he invited them into his home to retrieve the documents when he had his digital scale, pot, and a pipe sitting out in plain view is a mystery. A search later turned up six pounds of pot and almost $27,000.
#5) Don’t key somebody’s car and then invite cops into your weed-filled house to talk about it.
Tobias Bulger of Georgia let his anger for his father get the best of him and decided it would be a good idea to carve expletives into dad’s car’s paint job with a key. When dad calls the cops, they decide to interrogate Bulger, who cheerfully led them right into his house, where the cops find a half ounce divided into separate baggies along with a digital scale. Bulger is arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute.
#4) Don’t speed and then when caught, tell cops all about your pot business.
Richard Seery of Pennsylvania was stopped for speeding around 3pm, doing 45mph in a 25mph zone. The cop smelled pot and asked Seery about it and Seery gladly turned over a half ounce bag to the cop. Soon, a drug dog is there helping to find the 17 pounds Seery had in luggage in the passenger compartment. Next, the cops get a search warrant for his home and find a secret room with another 14 pounds of weed and about $50,000 in cash. So, of course, he volunteers to help cops find his third stash of 36 pounds in a storage unit, his other stash of $200,000 in cash, and house he’d set up as a grow site. And it all took place in East Hempfield Township.
#3) Don’t tailgate a sheriff’s car when you’re packing a pound of weed in your truck.
Kevin Bourque of Eureka, California, decided to tailgate a marked Humboldt County Sheriff’s car on Highway 101. When the cop pulled into the slow lane, Bourque blazed on by him at 80mph in the 65mph zone. After he’s pulled over, cops find a pound of weed and a sales ledger, and then get the warrant for his home where they find 497 plants and 29 pounds of bud.
#2) Don’t take your weed to court for your hearing on weed possession.
I could write an entire article on the people who went to the courthouse with weed. Let’s just pick Jovon Graham of South Carolina, who went to court on a marijuana possession charge while holding. After he was sentenced to half of his $813 fine or face 70 days in jail, the bailiff searches him, finds his weed, and Graham was promptly taken to jail on a second possession charge.
#1) Don’t meet your buddies to blaze up in the police parking lot.
Four young men from Totowa win the top award for Stupid 2013 when one of them goes to the state police to pick up paperwork for an impounded car. While his three buddies are waiting for him, they decide to spark up right in the state troopers’ parking lot. When a cop headed out for night patrol smelled the herb, he found and busted the three of them. The guy who’d come to pick up his car from the state police was also holding and was busted as well.
Here’s to success in legalization in 2014 so more of these stories of stupidity don’t end with a conviction and a criminal drug record.