Much has been written in this space about the dubious wisdom of belaboring our law enforcement professionals with the duty of busting Marijuana users -- and then tossing said users into our overcrowded prison system.
It's a worthwhile argument: Police reports leading up to the July 4 weekend for just one of the city's many police stations -- the Taraval unit -- was stocked with so many pot-related busts one could be forgiven for mistaking it for out-takes from a Cheech and Chong movie. That being said, the folks getting corralled offered a primer in "how to get yourself busted for drugs, even in San Francisco" and were engaging in a number of societally unacceptable behaviors -- such as burning it down. Here's a quick rundown:
- A man who parked his car the wrong way on 36th avenue attracted police attention -- which was enhanced when the overpowering odor of pot came wafting out of the driver's side. A subsequent search of the man's home and vehicle revealed "a large amount of Marijuana and packaging material." Look, the city is broke -- why even park the wrong way and get a ticket for that?
- A driver at Noriega and Great Highway was stopped for an equipment violation. The officer smelled Marijuana and then witnessed the suspect attempt to discard cocaine. A quick investigation revealed other drugs in the car as well. The tire iron -- actually a jury-rigged bong. Okay, we made that one up.
- A man who blew the stop sign at Taraval and 37th stank of Marijuana, and had Marijuana and cocaine in the vehicle. A "consent search" of his residence revealed more of the same, and packaging material.
- A driver on 31st Ave. attracted attention by having no licence plate -- and, yes, he had Marijuana on his person. A search warrant for his home turned up a "sophisticated Marijuana grow" operation as well as "illegal weapons." Didn't turn up that licence plate, though.
Granted, not all of these are odd or even noteworthy reports of policework -- what boggles the mind is the bulk. This is a couple days work for one city station in a rather sedate part of town (with its share of grow houses). Perhaps the best argument about pot legalization isn't that it would make much of what these suspects were doing legal -- it's that it would potentially push people like this out of the business. Why buy from skeezy guys with no license plates when you can just pick up your goods at the market?