Firearm & marijuana possession at same time - police blotter

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Firearm & marijuana possession at same time - police blotter

Postby Bruenor » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:26 am

I ran across this article today in the police blotter and I was a little confused.
Currently I thought drug use is a disqualifier for owning firearms. so why did the office place the firearm back in the car ?

https://www.cleveland.com/berea/index.s ... er_ma.html

A North Ridgeville man, 73, was arrested at about 8 p.m. Jan. 26 after police caught him with a container of marijuana.

Police had stopped the man's Nissan Rogue after seeing the vehicle turn from Wesley Drive to North Rocky River without signaling. After stopping, the man tried to hide something in his car. Police noticed a sword in the backseat, so they told the man to place his hands on the steering wheel.

When police sought permission to search the driver's Nissan, the man said no. Police asked dispatchers to send a K-9 to the scene. Before the K-9 arrived, the man handed over the marijuana. The man said no weapons, aside from the sword, were in the car. However, police found a firearm, wrapped in a T-shirt inside a reusable shopping bag, in the car's backseat.

The man said he had purchased the firearm "from someone" outside a Fin Feather Fur Outfitters store. Police determined that the man was "transporting the firearm properly" so they placed it back inside the car.


I get this is a cruddy news article probably missing the pertinent details, that one line just kind of threw me. Especially since they apparently arrested the guy.
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Re: Firearm & marijuana possession at same time - police blo

Postby djthomas » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:38 am

The federal disqualifier requires one to be an "unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance." Two issues:
1. He was possessing it, not using it. From what little we know the police had no evidence that he was a user or an addict. He's not a user until he uses it and gaining probable cause that someone is addicted is challenging in the context of a traffic stop.
2. Local law enforcement generally cannot enforce federal law.

The state disqualifer requires one to have been convicted of or under indictment for felony possession (etc). It takes a lot of weed to reach the felony level, and in any event the man presumably was not under indictment at the time of possession.

Lastly the article says they arrested the guy but that doesn't mean cuffed and stuffed. If the only thing they got him on was less than 100 grams of weed they can only issue a minor misdemeanor citation and send him on his way. Legally it's an arrest just like a traffic citation is legally an arrest, but the offender is not taken into custody. Even if he had more than 100 grams they don't have to take him into custody at the misdemeanor level. The police may take someone into custody on a misdemeanor (other than an MM) but they can also issue what's known as an SLW: summons in lieu of warrant. It's basically a ticket telling you when to report to court for arraignment.

Guy's 73 years old, fairly local resident, probably going to tilt discretion in favor of an SLW instead of a physical arrest, especially if he has some health issues that the cops really don't want to have to deal with once he's in custody.
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Re: Firearm & marijuana possession at same time - police blo

Postby Bruenor » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:09 pm

Thanks for that. Certainly helps to clarify what might be going on there.
Μολὼν λαβέ

"Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them."

- Thomas Paine
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