Pot Heads heading down Interstate, head straight to Jail
Gloomberg Bloomberg reports about the problems of residents of states where it legal to puff ‘Mary Jane’, subsequently get pulled over in states where it is not legal and busted for being in possession.
The American MSM journalistic style is to open an article using the story of a real life person to garner empathy. Personally I find this insulting as if educated people cannot grasp facts without having a touchy freely pre-amble about some soccer mom/ soccer dad/mom and pop/ pop and mom/ an American dream linkage/ an underdog/ someone who was bullied/ someone who died and came back to life etc / to just get to the point.
The Bloomberg report is such an article so let’s find out who is the main ‘character’ that they have written around. Friends, Roam’ns, Countrymen, I would like you to meet Mr. B.J. Patel:
The 34-year-old Arizona man may face a decade in prison and deportation following an arrest in 2012. On a trip in a rented U-Haul to move his uncle from California to Ohio, he brought along some marijuana, which is legal for medicinal use in his home state.
Headed eastbound on I-44 through Oklahoma, Patel was stopped for failing to signal by Rogers County Deputy Quint Tucker, just outside Tulsa. He was about to get off with a warning when Tucker spotted a medical marijuana card in his open wallet.
“‘I see you have this card. Where’s the marijuana?’” Patel recalled Tucker asking him. “I very politely and truthfully told him, ‘I’ll show you where it is.’”
Queue the sympathy strings:
Patel, who was listed when he was stopped in April 2012 as 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing only 110 pounds, said cannabis was recommended by an Arizona doctor to help combat appetite and weight-loss stemming from hernia surgery.
Ok, we understand the munchies link and why you need to eat as I uhm, uhm, once had a friend tell me that he ate a lot of chips after smoking how do you say it, Marig-ua-na. My uhm friend said he didn’t inhale though because that is naughty.
So back to the Bloomberg story.
Because he was prosecuted for marijuana possession in Arizona in 2004 and 2010, his Oklahoma charge was automatically raised to a felony. Both Arizona cases resulted in probation.
“I was just dumbfounded,” Patel said. “I had already done the time for the crime. Now they want to punish me again.”
So Mr. Patel was a stoner back in 2004 and 2010, way back before Arizona’s medical laws. I understand life. Sometime back injuries just come out of the blue so as from 2011, he is now a ‘medical’ user no longer a stoner.
Patel’s story get’s worse as with a MJ felony he could now be deported.
Patel, a U.K. citizen who said he’s lived legally in the U.S. for 26 years, said he helps his mother run an assisted living facility and pays his taxes. He said he doesn’t understand why Oklahoma considers him a criminal for the misdemeanor amount of pot he had, described in the police report as several “rolled cigarettes” and two bags of the drug.
Possession of any amount of pot is punishable by as long as one year in prison for first-time offenders under Oklahoma law. For those caught more than once, sentences run from two to 10 years.
Does he live on the moon or what ?
If he has been puffing away for this time and busted twice, he should have realized his lifestyle is courting with being deported. He has already had two incidents over drug possession and so he would likely had a lawyer who would have told him the risks to his legal immigration status.
Nov 2010 Arizona law certainly helped him out with his lifestyle but jumping to 2012 why was he temping a deportation by crossing multiple interstate lines with pot? Since he went through such arrests before, he should have realized cops in non-legal state would not be his friend. If he is really is that sick requiring MJ, should he even be driving a uHaul for a long distance?
I think he is an idiot and not worthy of such a sympathy role model. If he had forgotten about small trace amounts, it would have been different. Not only that but he could have avoided the deportation risk by becoming a US Citizen as after all, 26 years is long enough.
Back to the Bloomberg story and let’s finish with input from Idaho Finest:
“The manner in which a person acquires the drug is not relevant,” Teresa Baker, an Idaho police spokeswoman, said. “This is important to know for those who may purchase it legally elsewhere, believing that it will be overlooked.”
James Siebe, a lawyer in Coeur d’Alene, put it another way: “Come on vacation, leave on probation.”
Be careful out there folks. The law is not always a friend to the traveler.
Two topics we will kick down the internet-posting road for future discussion:
- The ability of the driver while potentially stoned: Yes, you drive slower but your co-ordination times are not there. At what point is DUSt defined or measurable? What about legally prescribed meds such as Ambien that people take and still drive.
- The cops and their targeting of drivers based on licence plates alone. From
Nicolas Vieth, a criminal defense attorney in Coeur d’Alene, said Idaho has stretched a net across Interstate 90 to snare drivers from out-of-state.
Using license-plate recognition software, Idaho police regularly zero in on cars along the 74-mile east-west route, said Teresa Baker, the police spokeswoman. Plate readers are used for law-enforcement purposes only, she said.