There are moments when the stupidity of other people makes us question our collective human intelligence.
Take, for example, the arrest of a 21-year-old Nebraska man on marijuana charges in late February. The man, who police didn’t immediately identify, was driving in Lincoln, Neb., when he was pulled over by Lancaster County sheriff’s deputies.
The deputies later said they stopped him for a likely DUI at about 9 p.m. Feb. 28. There were three passengers in the car, though sheriff’s officials said they weren’t intoxicated.
Police searched the car
What would have been a routine, standard drunk driving bust turned decidedly dumb when police searched the car and found a 16-ounce tub of sour cream under the front passenger’s seat. It was labeled, simply, “Not Weed.”
This obviously ensured the cops would open the tub, which of course really did contain weed, 11.4 grams of the stuff (almost a half ounce). The driver admitted the pot was his. He was cited for it under the state’s marijuana decriminalization statute.
Nebraska removed criminal penalties for weed in the late 1970s, joining a select group of states with early decriminalization laws. Other states included Oregon, New York, and, surprisingly, Mississippi.
Violation tickets for weed
The idea is that locals and visitors alike will no longer spend any time in jail for simple cannabis possession. Instead, they’re issued violation tickets, similar to traffic or parking tickets. No court appearance is required, and the incident usually doesn’t go on the persons’ permanent criminal record.
Currently 14 states are decriminalized: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Recreational weed in four states and D.C.
Oregon, Colorado, Washington State, Alaska, and the District of Columbia all used to be decriminalized. But as of this year, they have all legalized recreational marijuana. That means users don’t face any kind of criminal or civil penalties. The drug is regulated there like alcohol.
None of the three passengers in Nebraska were cited. In addition to the marijuana ticket, the motorist was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. The weed citation will likely cost him about $300 plus any fees levied by the state. That’s relatively expensive for a state with decriminalization.
This episode was just the latest in a long tradition of stoners doing stupid things when cornered by the law. Within the last year, one man wore a t-shirt that said “I Have Drugs” while carrying weed. Another got caught hiding pot in his voluminous fat folds. And a woman in Florida (naturally) was charged with destroying evidence after she ate the bag of marijuana cops had taken from her – while still handcuffed in the backseat of a police cruiser.