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What To Do If You Get Caught With Weed

FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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11/24/2013 4:51:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Here I will detail the proper protocol, based on the law, which you would want to take in the instance that a police officer asks to search your vehicle/property, looking for cannabis. Memorize the "magic words", in the correct order, and pass them on. These words may not prevent you from being searched or arrested, especially since cops don't always follow the law, but it will greatly increase your chances that the case will be dropped if and once they do. Know your rights.

First and foremost, remember to be courteous, calm and respectful during all police encounters. Agitated police will not only be more likely to arrest you, they are more likely to harm you. Racial minorities and young men should be especially cautious. If you are or have been a member of the military, keep your military ID in plain sight. Do not tell officers that you have a medical license. Keep your license in the same container with your cannabis, if they find it, they will find out then. If you live in a state that allows medical licenses, you should really look into getting one.

Your first magic words, once an officer has a suspicion that you possess cannabis:
"AM I FREE TO GO?"
This will clear up whether or not you are being detained.
If you are free to go, you are free to go.
If you are being detained and they have not yet found anything to arrest you for, the case can be dropped.
If they refuse to answer the question and refuse to let you go, the case can be dropped.

Your second words are:
"I DO NOT CONSENT TO ANY SEARCHES."
A police officer will need either a warrant or probable cause to search your property without your consent.
If they have a warrant, they can't necessarily search your whole property. Warrants must detail the specific items being searched for. If the warrant is for growing plants, it does not give them the right to search your drawers.
Smell is enough to constitute probable cause. Do not smoke in your vehicle in the first place. It's the number one cause of preventable arrests.
Police will often lie about probable cause. But most searches are based on consent, not probable cause. Police will attempt to trick or intimidate you into consenting. Never consent. Make it clear that you do not consent. The fact that you won't consent is not itself enough to constitute probable cause.
It's your word against theirs but if no one else is present to confirm what happened, police are still often recorded.
If you are in a public place, ask any passersby to video tape the police. Give them your number.
This will lessen the risk of abuse and improve your chances of ruling that there was no probable cause.
Police may not prevent anyone from recording them, or the case will be thrown out.

Your next words are:
"I WANT TO REMAIN SILENT."
This is important to say. You are not legally exercising your right to be silent unless you first announce that you are exercising it.
If you speak, the words must be repeated over again.

Lastly, you must say:
"I WANT A LAWYER."
When you say this, they are not allowed to question you again until you have a lawyer.
If they do and it causes you to break your silence, the case can be thrown out.
Don't worry about having a name or being able to pay.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Wren_cyborg
Posts: 241
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11/24/2013 10:08:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
First and foremost, remember to be courteous, calm and respectful during all police encounters. Agitated police will not only be more likely to arrest you, they are more likely to harm you. Racial minorities and young men should be especially cautious. If you are or have been a member of the military, keep your military ID in plain sight. Do not tell officers that you have a medical license. Keep your license in the same container with your cannabis, if they find it, they will find out then. If you live in a state that allows medical licenses, you should really look into getting one.

Yes, being nice is the best weapon against police. I got pulled over pretty drunk this summer, after bar-close. I was nice and kept the officer on his toes so he never got any reason to ask me questions about drinking. If you behave like somebody who's trying to act non-suspicious, they will smell it all over you. The proper thing to do is to put yourself in the shoes of somebody who has nothing to lose because they aren't getting into trouble. Be assertive with the officer, don't just wait for them to control the situation. Both times I got pulled over drunk, the officer approached my window from behind and just looked at me. It gives them the advantage of letting you either act suspicious or act like you are an innocent person that is genuinely intuitive about what is going on, and these two different types act markedly different, especially when you are allowed to start the conversation.

The first time I got pulled over drunk, it was raining hard, my wiper blade was not affixed to my wiper, and I blew over the median in the center of the road because I couldn't see it. I didn't realize the car behind me was a cop, who instantly had his lights on. He approached the window and looked at me. I looked at him, and realized he was waiting for me to either take control of the conversation or let him do it (and I know what the first question out of his mouth would have been). I perked up quickly and explained what had just happened, and activated my wiper to show him what my problem was. I explained I was only a block from home, so he let me park my car and walk the rest of the way. This last time I got pulled over because my license plates were bad, and I had actually just gotten pulled over for it the day before. Again, they pulled me over and approached the window and just looked at me. I perked up like I did years ago with the wiper incident and had my ticket from before in hand, and explained that the DMV was closed on the weekend so I didn't have reasonable time to get it remedied.

When the officers see you acting like somebody who is engaged and not hiding anything, they will often defer to your handling of the situation (if you're especially young, that probably isn't going to happen at all LOL). But if you are letting them control the tempo, that is a sign that you are hiding something. Get energetic about it and keep them on their toes. Answer the questions that are painfully obvious before they have to go through their own process of asking them. Don't seem uncomfortable, seem interested. Inquisitive. Kind. And probably above all, act like you are enjoying the interaction! Why wouldn't you be? Treat them like you're happy to be talking to somebody that's reasonable and intelligent. Don't go overboard with it, but try to be that "customer" of theirs that's cooler than all the other people they've interacted with the rest of the night. Innocent people are thankful of officers doing their jobs to protect them, not apprehensive.

While we're on the subject of drinking, there's actually a magical way to get out of a DUI even if you are wasted and just ran somebody over (I kid, I kid). It's tricky, but if you follow these instructions exactly, it's impossible to pin it on you.

1. Keep a fifth of hard alcohol in your car, sealed.
2. When pulled over and facing the inevitable, take your keys out of the ignition, open your window, and drop them on the ground before they have a chance to approach you. Close the window. Lock the doors.
3. When they approach the window, look at them, hold up the bottle, unseal the (new, unopened) bottle and chug away, spilling the remainder of the bottle on your shirt (calling into doubt exactly how much you just drank).
4. Open the window and follow instructions.

You will be booked and have to go to court. But when you challenge the DUI, it will be impossible to prove that you didn't just "safely" chug that alcohol while not operating the motor vehicle, and your BAC was a result of only that. I've never actually tried this myself, but if I ever do decide to get into bar-hopping again I just might keep a fifth in the center console just in case ;)

Your first magic words, once an officer has a suspicion that you possess cannabis:
"AM I FREE TO GO?"
This will clear up whether or not you are being detained.
If you are free to go, you are free to go.
If you are being detained and they have not yet found anything to arrest you for, the case can be dropped.
If they refuse to answer the question and refuse to let you go, the case can be dropped.

Your second words are:
"I DO NOT CONSENT TO ANY SEARCHES."
A police officer will need either a warrant or probable cause to search your property without your consent.
If they have a warrant, they can't necessarily search your whole property. Warrants must detail the specific items being searched for. If the warrant is for growing plants, it does not give them the right to search your drawers.
Smell is enough to constitute probable cause. Do not smoke in your vehicle in the first place. It's the number one cause of preventable arrests.
Police will often lie about probable cause. But most searches are based on consent, not probable cause. Police will attempt to trick or intimidate you into consenting. Never consent. Make it clear that you do not consent. The fact that you won't consent is not itself enough to constitute probable cause.
It's your word against theirs but if no one else is present to confirm what happened, police are still often recorded.
If you are in a public place, ask any passersby to video tape the police. Give them your number.
This will lessen the risk of abuse and improve your chances of ruling that there was no probable cause.
Police may not prevent anyone from recording them, or the case will be thrown out.

You're technically correct that the Supreme Court has decreed that filming on-duty police officers is not illegal. Consent must be given by at least one party in any recorded conversation (the person being detained by the police will be that by default). But it's not easy winning this battle with them, and you can count on the police outfoxing your average passer-by with a camera. For starters, the police will order them to stay back, most likely too far back to record the conversation. Second, they can accuse the recorder of interfering and risking arrest themselves, which is probably enough to scare them off if they aren't particularly versed in their rights.

Your next words are:
"I WANT TO REMAIN SILENT."
This is important to say. You are not legally exercising your right to be silent unless you first announce that you are exercising it.
If you speak, the words must be repeated over again.

Lastly, you must say:
"I WANT A LAWYER."
When you say this, they are not allowed to question you again until you have a lawyer.
If they do and it causes you to break your silence, the case can be thrown out.
Don't worry about having a name or being able to pay.

Smoking in a vehicle is for kids. Buy your stuff, put it in the trunk, and take it home to enjoy it safely. If you are out in public with the stuff, chances are you aren't giving a isht about your rights in the first place and are just waiting to be arrested.
yay842
Posts: 5,680
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11/25/2013 1:12:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
accept the consequences of your actions for doing something that you would already known of what you were about to do before and after doing it
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FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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11/26/2013 12:46:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 1:12:30 AM, yay842 wrote:
accept the consequences of your actions for doing something that you would already known of what you were about to do before and after doing it

Were those words supposed to form a sentence somehow?
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Wren_cyborg
Posts: 241
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11/26/2013 12:57:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 1:12:30 AM, yay842 wrote:
accept the consequences of your actions for doing something that you would already known of what you were about to do before and after doing it

Is that supposed to be a sentence? I can't tell if you're joking or disagreeing. I'll assume you're disagreeing and saying that one should just obey the law because they know the law and its consequences. In that case, I would point out that laws are not heavenly decrees, they are just rules that fat white men (with interests usually rooted in business of some sort) decide for us so they can advance their careers. While I love the character of Socrates in Plato's dialogues I don't particularly care for his position on following laws no matter how much you disagree with them (resulting in him committing suicide as ordered by law-makers) and had I been ordered to drink poison I instead would have moved away and taken care of my children (eyes Socrates disapprovingly). The benefits of smoking weed far outweigh the legal detriments as it is incredibly unlikely at any particular time (not so much over your entire span of life) that you will be arrested for it, so there's little reason to simply not do it because it's illegal. Sure, you can end up with a scummy marijuana charge on your record, but most people don't have that sensitive of a career ahead of them that something like that is going to ruin them. A guy with a neck-tattoo for instance probably isn't going to be sweating it too much. Besides; you have to grow a spine at some point and do what you want to do even if it's against the law especially when you know in your heart the law is flat-out wrong. When I smoke weed I play video games. For there to be a law outlawing that activity is the epitome of injustice, and there never has and never will be even the slightest moral grounds for the laws we have today. They are the result of modern economics alone.
SemperVI
Posts: 294
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11/26/2013 3:54:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Ha ha.... Freedo, put down the pipe, your post is nonsense. I take that back, you said one thing that was good advice.

"First and foremost, remember to be courteous, calm and respectful during all police encounters."

I used to be a cop and nothing you said carries much weight. If your being detained, it is for a reason. Accordingly, an officer by law is compelled to perform a preliminary investigation and has a right to detain you for this. i.e. A traffic stop.

Contrary to your belief, "AM I FREE TO GO" are not magic words. Attempting to leave will get you arrested for Obstruction of Justice or Impeding an Investigation. An officer. Not allowing you to go will not get any potential future charges dismissed.

Not consenting to searches is certainly within your right. In fact, it is a right I would encourage everyone to exercise. Consent to search is called a warrantless search and thier are protocols an officer must follow under well established Supreme Court search and seizure case precedent called "Rules of Evidence". If an officer has probable cause to believe you are in possession of a controlled substance, they can search. There are a slew of examples which I will not bother listing, but plain site and the smell of weed is enough. Likewise, if you are arrested for some other crime, i.e. driving while suspended, you and your vehicle can be searched incident to arrest.

Remaining silent and requesting a lawyer is your right. This would particularly apply after a crime was discovered. In the event a police officer wishes to question you, he will read you your Miranda rights where you will be advised of this. Cops however do not need to read you miranda if they have no questions. They generally will in the event you offer something up after arrest, but they do not have to.

The reason for this is because in the event of possession of marijuana they have all the evidence they need to make a case for the prosecuter. Now it is possible the search was illegal and therefore the evidense can be tossed out, but it is unlikely.

In the event, you are busted for weed. Just get an attorney

Peace
Wren_cyborg
Posts: 241
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11/26/2013 10:32:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/26/2013 3:54:47 AM, SemperVI wrote:
Ha ha.... Freedo, put down the pipe, your post is nonsense. I take that back, you said one thing that was good advice.

"First and foremost, remember to be courteous, calm and respectful during all police encounters."

I used to be a cop and nothing you said carries much weight. If your being detained, it is for a reason. Accordingly, an officer by law is compelled to perform a preliminary investigation and has a right to detain you for this. i.e. A traffic stop.

Most of the time you're correct, but these can be useful if the cop is trying to overstep his authority. You should be familiar with the fact that cops will take advantage of the fact that kids, in particular, don't know their rights. Teenagers and young adults thinks cops are like teachers in school, where they have to simply obey whatever they say for whatever reason. These steps will help you out if the officer tries to take advantage of your ignorance. And yeah, it won't work in a traffic stop, you're pretty-much at the police's mercies the moment you step into a vehicle.