I Got Pulled Over!
There comes a time in ever herbalists' life (if it hasn't already come) when you will have to deal with police officers while under the influence. Whether on foot or behind the wheel, no one wants to speak to the police if they don't have to, especially if they're high!
Have you ever smoked while driving? (it's 100% illegal in all 50 states) Or smoked while out then not too long after, got behind the wheel? What about gone to purchase marijuana and had to drive back home? Maybe you let your friends smoke in the car and the smell or roaches still linger. Either way, when traveling with cannabis in your car or in your system, it's very risky. Even when driving with the upmost caution and care, you may still catch the attention of a cop on the road for reasons you may not believe.
You're driving, and what do you know, you're getting pulled over. Who knows why, that has yet to be assumed. As calmly as possible, pull your car over in the safest place and wait to be approached by the officer.
TIP: DO NOT roll your window down all the way! Leave just enough room for you to hand over your driving documents and so that the officer can hear you speak clearly. Rolling your window down all the way only allows for the officer to get a better view of what is in your vehicle, which he initially has no right to search. As long as you are providing the officer with the documents he requests and answer his questions respectfully, you are being compliant.
The officer will most likely approach you, asking for your license, registration and proof of insurance. Do not reach for those documents until you are asked to avoid being accused of reaching or hiding anything else.
TIP: Always ask the officer why you're being pulled over. Never assume why you may be getting a ticket. You may walk away with a fine you didn't need to be accused of.
If the officer hints to your marijuana use (saying he smells marijuana, your eyes are red, etc.), never admit to smoking. Even if you think that saying you smoked hours before will help plead your case, it won't. It is not mandatory for you to provide a detailed schedule of events to the officer. You can politely tell the officer that you are not discussing your day.
Your refusal of information will most likely aggravate the officer, causing him/her to probe more and scare you with jail time, impounding your vehicle, suspending your license, etc. Do not fear those threats until you find out if you are being detained. Politely ask the officer "Am I being detained?" If the answer is no, the officer has no right to search your vehicle and if you do not admit to marijuana use, the conversation should end soon (always remain calm). If the answer is yes, explain to the officer that you are "evoking your 5th amendment right," meaning you will not speak on your actions to further incriminate yourself.
TIP: The police will read you your Miranda rights if/when you are being arrested. Within those rights, they will state that, "you have the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against you in court." DO NOT speak on your actions! Your Miranda rights also state, "you have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one to you." Always seek legal consult in marijuana involved cases.
Should you happen to be involved with the police when under the influence, follow the brief steps below:
- Crack your window
- Hand the officer the proper documentation AFTER being asked
- Ask why you're being pulled over
- If asked, politely tell the officer, "I am not discussing my day."
- When questioned, ask the officer, "Am I being detained or am I free to go?"
- No matter the circumstance, don't admit anything
All in all, there's two statements to remember. Other than that, in the words of the Pot Brothers, Shut The F*ck Up!
This article was influenced by the legal advice of The Pot Brothers At Law.