Riverside, IL – Elizabeth Klebba was arrested in March for smoking cannabis in her car, outside of the police station, while she waited for her friend who was picking up a vehicle that had been impounded. Around 9am an officer pulling in for the morning shift noticed her car parked in a police spot only designated for officers who were booking suspects into the jail.
When the officer approached her car, he claimed to have smelled marijuana. When he asked Klebba is she had weed in the car, she said there was. During the officers search of the vehicle, he found 2 containers of cannabis and a glass one hitter. A field test applied to the plant matter rendered a positive result and Elizabeth was arrested for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and improper parking.
The police chief boasted about how it was the easiest arrest for marijuana they have ever had.
“This was probably the easiest cannabis arrest ever made by the Riverside Police Department,” Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said in a statement. “To think that an individual would come into the police parking lot, park in a spot that was posted as ‘police unit parking only’ and then openly smoke cannabis is simply absurd.”
I wonder if Chief Weitzel has ever considered the absurdity of the drug war in general? I’ll concede that consuming an illegal substance, in a state with harsh cannabis laws, while improperly parked behind the police station is not the best idea. The fact that someone can rifle through your possessions and take you to a cage for putting a substance you want in your body is also absurd.
My response to chief Weitzel would be, “A group of individuals dress up in black, come to your house in an armored vehicle, break down the door, point guns at you and drag you to a cage for smoking cannabis? Now that is absurd.”
Lets break down this situations to better understand what actually happened.
Elizabeth did a favor for a friend and gave them a ride to get their vehicle back from impound. While she waited for her friend to retrieve their vehicle she smoked some cannabis.
It is unknown if this was medical or recreational cannabis and it really doesn’t matter. Smoking cannabis is a victimless crime, a deviant behavior that has like many other taboos, including alcohol and pornography is successfully breaking away from its negative impressions and paving the way for a medical revolution.
During this time an officer arrived for his morning shift. He may have noticed the improperly parked car or he may have smelled what could have been cannabis but also may have been plenty of other things regardless he approached Elizabeth and discovered her stash of dank nugs.
Since a crime would require a victim and the Riverside police are obviously going to be unable to present any physical victim, we have to assume that they are just trying to force Elizabeths consent in a criminal racket that punishes people for possessing items that have been deemed ILLEGAL!.
That word in itself means nothing. It is a buzzword of the establishment. Saying that something is illegal is an appeal to authority, it removes all thought of what is right and wrong, and expects you instead to do what is allowed.
During her police encounter Elizabeth could have done a few things different that might have helped her avoided this extra hassle.
For starters you shouldn’t be smoking weed at police station. Especially if your state will sentence you to 30 days in a cage for being in possession of less than an 8th. Even in cannabis friendly states the police are known to hassle people for public consumption of their medication.
Next Elizabeth should never have answered any of the officers questions. Per the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution you have the right to remain silent, you are not required to answer questions that will incriminate you. Elizabeth did this when she told the officer that she was in possession of cannabis.
Do not consent to searches and seizures. Per the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution you have a reasonable expectation of privacy and without reasonable suspicion or probably cause the police are not allowed to search. In some states the scent of cannabis is not probable cause for an officer to search. There are too many other smells that are similar and the subjectivity of the situation makes it increasingly easier for cops to say they smell weed in order to fabricate probable cause for a search.
As an individual you own yourself and should be allowed to decide what goes into your body. The idea that there should be a group of people who violently try to stop you doing something you enjoy is an absurdity beyond any critical strain of thought.