While other outlets examine the best stories in legalization for 2013, I wrap up my look back at the past year and the various stupid ways tokers managed to get themselves a free ride in a cop car. Check my earlier articles on how traffic laws, cell phones, friendly cops, and anger have managed to get tokers busted. Today, we recall the tokers who managed to get busted thanks to animals that weren’t police drug dogs.
Most of us have a soft spot for the animal companions in our lives. Dominique Vangue of Columbus, Georgia, loved his sweet little pooch so much he went to the Walmart to pick up a pink dog leash and collar. Unfortunately, Dominique decided to pick them up without paying for them and was promptly detained on suspicion of shoplifting. While waiting, store security noticed him fumbling around with his pants. Sure enough, cops later found nine individually-bagged grams of marijuana in his shorts. Word to the wise: shoplifting is wrong and shoplifting while holding is just plain stupid.
Adding a bit of careless cruelty to stupidity was Peter Giblin of Eastham, Massachusetts. He 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.
But the strangest animal bust story of 2013 comes from Kendallville, Indiana, where Jason Maxson loved animals so much that he stuffed and preserved their carcasses for display. Too bad Maxson didn’t possess a license to perform taxidermy, because apparently you can’t play around with animal corpses for artistic purposes without it. When cops came to investigate a tip on Maxson’s illegal taxidermy, they also happened to discover “30 marijuana plants, a large amount of processed marijuana, numerous drug paraphernalia items, methamphetamine, and multiple illegally possessed fish and animals for taxidermy purposes,” according to the police report.
2013 was one hell of a year for marijuana reform and 2014 promises perhaps another with two or three states that may legalize marijuana. Let’s hope more legal states means fewer stupid marijuana busts in the future.
"Radical" Russ Belville is the host of "The Russ Belville Show."