Cops Don’t Know the Difference Between Candy and Crystal Meth
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Cops Don’t Know the Difference Between Candy and Crystal Meth


If you think laying off the hard drugs means you won’t be thrown into the joint for possession, think again. Believe it or not, in our great country, you can get cuffed and booked for sucking on super-potent breath mints or schlepping around ingredients for quesadillas. While certainly not as fucked up or headline making as gunning someone down who’s unarmed, cops are also out there arresting people for home-growing produce and buying hard candies. Oh, yes. Behold a few of the most egregious examples:

Stop Sucking Meth!

In June of 2011, cops were hot on the scent of two guys supposedly possessing crystal meth on Coney Island in Brooklyn. The dudes were arrested for carrying six “crystalline rocks of solid material,” some blue and some red.

Oops! When the NYPD checked them out under a microscope, turned out they were just a bunch of Jolly Ranchers. Apparently the officers need glasses, or cataract surgery, or an IQ test—or all three.

A Marijuana Micro-farm

During the summer of 2013, around the Fort Worth, Texas area, police spotted three-and-a-half acres of marijuana growing. After some serious aerial spying over a small organic farm called Garden of Eden, a SWAT team busted six farmhands and investigated them for 10 hours. Turned out that wasn’t the best use of their time: the so-called criminals were growing tomatoes, not weed.

Crack for Breakfast?

In North Carolina, some guy who wasn’t even a dealer got hit up for crack by an undercover narc back in September. The enterprising man apparently figured, what the hell, I could use the cash, so he got creative and crushed up the corner of a Pop Tart and offered it to the officer. The cop paid $20 for that smashed toaster pastry before arresting the suspected drug dealer for creating and selling counterfeit controlled substance.

Seriously? Couldn’t the officer have just laughed this one off?

Run From the North Carolina Border

The cops in North Carolina must be waging a serious drug war, because they also screwed up in May of 2011 when they pulled over a 45-year-old carpet cleaner who was on a road trip. They took one look at the back of his truck and decided, after waving some detective device around, that he was carting around a shit-ton of coke. He spent four days in the slammer under a $300,000 bond for possessing 91 pounds of cocaine.

So what did he really have stashed in that truck? 91 pounds of cheese and tortilla dough. Apparently, the enzymes in cheese can sometimes result in false positives when drug testing. But if these officers don’t know the difference between cotijo and coca with their plain eyeballs, I think they need to be fired. Like right now.

Rolling on Peppermint

A 46 year-old man was arrested for having MDMA in Brooklyn in April 2013 after coppers spotted “white pellets” in his possession. He was released after spending 30 hours in jail after the brains behind the bust realized the pellets were Pow Energy mints.

Again, termination is in order.

Would You Like Some Meth on Your Pancakes?

In 2013, some wackos in Southern Illinois who’d surely seen a few too many episodes of Breaking Bad were convinced that their neighbors were cooking up some toxic meth. So they called in the cops, who were more than surprised to find the family was attaching buckets and tubes to their trees to suck out maple syrup.

At least in this case it was the neighbors, not the cops, who were the supreme idiots. Perhaps as a reward for not being the stupidest people in the room, the fuzz went home with a bunch of free maple syrup samples—a pretty sweat deal if you ask me.

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About Author

Tracy Chabala is a freelance writer for many publications including the LA Times, LA Weekly, Smashd, VICE and Salon. She writes mostly about food, technology and culture, in addition to addiction and mental health. She holds a Master's in Professional Writing from USC and is finishing up her novel.