It’s the latest in a weird list of stories that show many people remain clueless about complex cannabis laws.
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It’s always a good idea to call the police if something has been stolen from you. It’s only a bad idea if the item stolen is something that is illegal to have in the first place.
A Florida man who recently called police to tell them that his roommate had stolen $20 worth of cannabis just learned that the hard way.
As explained by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Deputy who responded to the call: ”A guy’s calling in saying his roommate stole his weed. Twenty dollars’ worth and he’s upset. He keeps calling 911. So, I got to give him a call and tell him to stop calling about his weed.”
If the officer seems amused, that’s because recreational marijuana remains illegal in Florida. It’s also illegal in 39 other states. But there is a lot of media coverage about legal marijuana right now, and understanding the different laws relating to medical and recreational marijuana can be confusing. Apparently, that is what happened in this situation.
No charges were filed in this case. A sheriff’s office spokesman told the Associated Press they just wanted the guy to stop calling about it.
Also, You Cannot Trade Marijuana For Fast Food
The case of the 911 calls shows, yet again, that people seem a bit fuzzy about the legality of marijuana. With cannabis still illegal in the U.S. on the national level, it is legal for adult use in 11 states, and legal for medical use (but for different conditions) in 33 states.
It has also been decriminalized in some states, which can cause even more confusion on rules, regulations and specific laws.
Still, even with the complexity, it’s hard to imagine someone thinking they could buy fast food with weed. But that’s what one man in Port St. Lucie, Florida, tried to do at a McDonald’s drive through at 2 a.m., according to police.
Workers at the McDonald’s called police after the 23-year-old drove away. As police interviewed the workers, the man returned, and this time attempted to pay with cash. Unfortunately, for him, there was an arrest made in this case after police found 11 grams of marijuana in his car.
Confusion Reigns In Some Places, But Arrests Could Slow Down With New Hemp Law
It’s easy to pick on Floridians, as the state’s admirable open records law is what led to the whole “Florida Man” trend in the first place. But these types of arrests have been happening everywhere. From the woman in Texas who became briefly famous for her mugshot makeup, to the elderly “Christmas cannabis couple” arrested with 60 pounds of weed in Nebraska. And who could forget the sexy pants smuggler at Los Angeles International Airport?
Even the police seem uncertain about the law. In Oklahoma, some law enforcement officers said they are so confused about the state’s medical marijuana laws that they may just arrest everybody and sort it out later.
But with Congress legalizing hemp in 2018, prosecutors across the nation — led by ones in Florida and Texas — have told law enforcement officers to stop pursuing low-level marijuana cases. That’s because there is no trusted way at this point to discern marijuana from hemp, which does not have the intoxicating THC chemical ingredient.
Marijuana arrests actually went up across the country in 2018, but the changes for 2019 might lead to a decline. In any case, it is still not wise to call police about a stolen stash in a state where it’s not legal. Just take the loss and move on.