Arresting Tales

Helpful tips for suburban teenage potheads

This is the latest in my ongoing series of helpful tips:

Helpful tips for suburban teenage potheads


Let's say you're a suburban teenage pothead. Mom and dad have very nice jobs, and you live in an affluent community.  You're polite, you're doing well in school, and you're only a couple weeks away from graduation.  Your 31 ACT score and high grade point average have guaranteed you a spot in a fine college.  You are clearly a good kid with a bright future. 

Unfortunately your privileged upbringing, young age, and near-daily weed smoking have clouded your judgment.  You've decided, along with several of your affluent pothead friends, that you will all enjoy a better return on your weed-smoking dollar if you pool your resources--instead of each of you buying a dime here and a dime there, you'll get a better price on higher-quality weed if you all get together and buy an ounce of high-grade kush.  You make a connect through a friend-of-a-friend, and drive to a less-affluent suburb to make your purchase.

Like many affluent teenagers, you don't really think things through, and are probably not cut out for the criminal lifestyle.  Please consider these points before you score:

  • When you go to score, you don't have to bring all of your friends/investors with you.  By packing yourself and 5 friends into your 1997 compact, you've just created the pothead equivalent of a clown car.  Police will notice you.
  • Out of your 5 pot-smoking friends, at least one of them will fail to wear a seat belt when he's supposed to.  You're probably not aware that failure to wear a safety belt is probable cause for a traffic stop.  Son, did you not pay any attention to those "Click it or ticket" campaigns?
  • The fact that you've been getting baked frequently and without consequence has made you sloppy in your housekeeping.  You don't notice all the stems and seeds that litter the floor of your car, but any casual observer who walks up to your open driver's window certainly will.
  • Same goes for that smell.  While smoking has diminished your sense of smell, there's no way a cop is going to miss the reek of high-quality weed emanating from your car.
  • Oh, and another thing.  While you don't think anything of the digital scale and all those extra plastic bags that you and your friends are going to use to divide up the weed, to a patrol officer that looks like intent to deliver in violation of 720 ILCS 550/5.  And you probably shouldn't have gotten stopped so close to a school, either. 
  • Finally, since all your friends hail from a similar well-off background, it's not likely any of them are going to stand up and take any responsibility for being co-purchasers of the weed.  Some of them will probably stand around laughing and grab-assing while you get hauled away in handcuffs. I'm just saying. 



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Joe the Cop said:


Thanks Lauren!

irishpirate said:


Pothead clown car. That is the phrase that pays.

I'm not sure of the law in Illinois or even how much weed one ounce actually is, but this is one of those situations where the police MIGHT have considered using some discretion.

For example let's say the aforementioned ounce was placed on top of the suspect vehicle. Let's say it was sprinkled on top of said vehicle. Vehicle drives away and the pot vanishes in the wind.

On a particularly windy day the cop could empty out the occupants of the clown car and force them to watch the weed disappear into the wind. The image of privileged clowns watching that while brings joy to my heart.

If said member of the constabulary was unwilling to do that perhaps some of the pot could disappear down a toilet somewhere so the amount logged in would add up to a lesser amount......criminal penalty wise.

I'm anti drug war for a variety of reasons to include the waste of police resources and the violence associated with criminal gangs in various countries who deal in mind altering substances.

However, I do appreciate a good turn of phrase and "pothead clown car" is today's winner.

Joe the Cop said:


Thanks for your kind comment.

So you know, the kid didn't get hammered like he might have had different officers been involved. He did not get charged with any felonies. An ounce is roughly 28 grams, and the felony amount for straight possession is 30 grams.

He can go into court (assuming he doesn't hire an aggressive enough attorney to actually beat it) plead guilty, get supervision on the misdemeanor, and have the entire thing expunged by the time he finishes college.

Unfortunately, the kind of discretion you describe is a disappearing thing these days, going the same way as verbal warnings. It's sad.

Chris Falco said:

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That would pretty much keep him from getting any student aid right?

I know if it's a well off family it's not a huge deal but for all the other teenagers who are young and dumb...

I never understood why if you get a drug conviction you can't get student aid, but kill someone and you can.

This is partially why the drug war is insane.

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