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Cop Shelf, Interviewing the Police about Cannabis

Times have changed and are constantly changing. But things haven’t always been so chill and lax.

A lot of us grew up in a time where cannabis was illegal, looked down upon, and said to be at one point a top priority for police. So we grew up in fear. When we grew cannabis, it was terrifying but I’m not gonna lie, it was exhilarating too. A tell no one type situation. We would have never posted photos like we do today on social media. Hell, we were even scared just to fire it up and put some smoke in the air. We were considered outlaws, criminals, and even low-lifes. When we were growing up, an ounce or more could land you behind bars for a long time. People were sentenced longer and harder than murderers and rapists. So who did we blame for this cluster f*ck of laws and ordinances? The cops? The city officials? The state government? The feds?

The blame for cannabis imprisonment can be placed on a lot of people and levels of government. Ever since the war on drugs started, cops have been told to seek out “drug users.” The majority of “drug arrests” were cannabis. Why, might you ask. Well for a few reasons. The most known reason was gentrification and racism, but let’s jump past that and look at the plant itself. It was easy for cops to find grows, it was easy to smell out, and the easiest product to train a k9 on. This being said, it was also the easiest “drug” to create probable cause. No sight needed, just smell. A smell that we all know could be minutes old or even hours old. Or maybe not even old at all just fresh and super dank. Lol, either way an accusation of smell gave access to our homes, vehicles, and personal lives.

Times have changed though. I really wanted a good insight on a few things from an actual current police officer, a “cop”. I had some questions. I wanted updates. I wanted to share knowledge with all of you. So I nervously reached out to a cop and told him what I wanted and what I was doing. He actually agreed to chat and let me pick his brain. So naturally I fired up a blunt and stayed out of handcuff reach and sparked up the conversation and questions. So, here we go!

How long have you been in law enforcement?

I have been in law enforcement going on 17 years, including being heavily involved with drug interdiction from 2003 to 2006. During those times, cannabis was a big focus. Personal small amounts would land you jail. People would run because they had a little pinner joint.

What if any training or conversation came up about cannabis during training?

Back then in 2003, cannabis was part of all training. It was a big deal in training. Nowadays, the training focuses more on hard drugs like meth, fentanyl and black tar heroin. But mostly fentanyl, especially close to the Mexico border.

Is there any difference from county, city, Reservation, state?

There’s no difference between municipality, county, and state. It is up to the officer discretion. As far as reservation (tribal land), it is federal land so it is still illegal, but the officers from most departments don’t care. The only officers you have to really worry about are the rookie officers. To them, it is new and a rush for them. For veteran officers, well…. WE DON'T GIVE A SHIT UNLESS IT’S A FELONY POSSESSION!

What is the majority of law enforcement’s take one cannabis grows and/or possession?

Most law enforcement officers do not care about personal use at all. I recently pulled someone over and found 8 ounces in the vehicle. I let them go. We honestly don’t care about weed anymore. We don’t have to. When it comes to the feds, well they don’t care either. They only want hundreds of pounds, the big news story bust.

What is your personal take and opinion on it?

It’s not worth my time to arrest or cite for cannabis. It is not hurting anyone and I even have done the traffic unit for a while. I have never had a crash or a problem with someone in possession or under the influence of cannabis. I believe it is becoming more acceptable for law enforcement because of CBD. It opens up the usage of cannabis and the knowledge.

Do you think it will ever be at a point where it’s not law enforcement’s concern anymore?

It is already getting to that point. We really don’t give a shit anymore. It’s just weed!

Wow, well there you have it. Straight for the source. This was a crazy conversation, but definitely eye opening and makes me feel better while in possession and driving. Next time that cop pulls in behind you don’t sweat it. It’s just weed!



Shane Stanford is a dank dad living in New Mexico. Read more of his articles and follow him on Instagram @NMBeardedMan

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