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Louisiana driver eats marijuana, charged with evidence tampering

Legislation around usage, possession and distribution of marijuana in the U.S. is in a state of flux. Medical use of marijuana has been legalized in a number of states, and two states have now decriminalized recreational use of the plant.

Still, in federal and Louisiana law, marijuana is an illegal drug. Criminal drug charges are regularly laid against people found to be in possession of it, and conviction can sometimes have far-reaching consequences. So what did a driver do when he was about to be stopped by law enforcement with the drug in his vehicle? He apparently ate his marijuana.

In an early Monday morning traffic stop, a law enforcement officer in Baton Rouge apprehended a 42-year-old man who was allegedly driving against the traffic. The police officer smelled marijuana in the vehicle, and noticed that the man was chewing something.

At first the driver refused to talk, and the officer asked him to walk toward the police vehicle and to remove what was in his mouth. Then the driver admitted that he had started eating the marijuana while driving. Upon searching him, the police officers found more marijuana in his clothing. They also discovered one pill of a controlled substance in the vehicle.

The man had charges of possession of the two drugs laid against him. He was also charged with evidence tampering.

If you or someone you know is charged with illegal marijuana possession or distribution, there are ways to stay out of jail. For example, Baton Rouge residents have gone into drug treatment or rehabilitation as part of negotiated court agreements. Having a discussion with a criminal defense attorney with an interest in this ever-changing field of law may be to your benefit. You will need to know what to expect from the court process and understand the complete range of options available to you.

Source: WAFB, “Police: Man tries to eat marijuana during traffic stop,” Amber Stegall, April 1, 2014

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