Keystone Cops Return Wrongfully Seized Cash & Cannabis

Photo of marijuana and cash wrongfully seized June 4 by Logan County sheriff deputies

I remember the night 788 passed, mostly because I spent it refreshing the live voting results like a maniac, unable to believe what was happening. By the end of that warm summer night, my world held a bit more hope than it did just a few minutes prior. For the first time, I experienced local level democracy enacting change that would dramatically affect my life for the better. All it took was weed to restore my faith!

But coming to grips with change is almost always challenging. And unsurprisingly, it seems law enforcement needs more time than most to adjust to the new marijuana paradigm.

Last month, two dispensary employees were legally transporting $5,400 in cash and approximately $55,000 in cannabis and cannabis-related goods (pictured above) from one dispensary to another, when out of nowhere (Logan County), they were intercepted by the spooky specter of prohibitions past (the Logan County Sheriff’s Department).

From The Oklahoman:

Daniel Richard Arthur, 40, and Rebecca J. Davis, 40, were both charged the same day with felonies, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substances with intent to distribute, and conspiracy.

These are some undoubtedly serious charges. I really want to know where the conspiracy charge comes in. I like to imagine they were legally transporting a bunch of cannabis and had some interesting views about the shape of the Earth.

Before passage of 788, being in a car with that much marijuana was a direct method of gambling away the next several decades of your life. If these two had been caught with all this loot back then, the media coverage would have taken on a vastly different tone. Every article would have been accompanied by an official sheriff’s department photo: slightly zoomed out, several officers surrounding the cannabis — holding shotguns and grinning like they were trying to do their mammas proud on picture day, because they were doing their jobs keeping the streets (and snack food supply) safe.

Thank the Good Dogg-Father Snoop, late last week all charges were dropped. Everything the cops seized was returned to the dispensary employees’ attorney, and all the news surrounding this story is focused on the Wild West situation we’ve found ourselves in with medical marijuana.

The Logan County Sheriff weighed in:

Part of me wants to tell my guys, ‘Hey, if they got dope, just let them go,'” Sheriff Damon Devereaux said Thursday. “It is frustrating but … we’re always willing to learn something new … It’s not our intent to violate anybody’s rights.

I appreciate the sheriff’s concern for our rights, and I believe his heart is in the right place, but this is a glaring example of how important cannabis education is. First, the word dope has some negative connotations. Second, and more importantly, why is learning not to arrest people for not breaking the law “frustrating?” I feel like he should give some of that dope a try. It might make learning fun, and it will definitely make pizza taste even more awesome.

Law enforcement is an incredibly complex profession, and rising to the challenges presented by this particular change will take time. Thankfully, while we wait for cops to learn how to not wrongfully arrest us and seize our property, we can now legally get higher than my father’s disappointment in me.

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