Police in Florida have found USD 2 million worth of cannabis in a storage facility and the sheriff’s office has shared a post on social media saying that they want to “reunite” the property with its “rightful owner”.
The post is believed to be humorous because it is currently illegal to use cannabis for recreational purposes in Florida, with possession of as little as 20 grammes (0.04 lbs) being punishable by up to a year in prison. The police said that they had seized 770 lbs (350 kilogrammes) of cannabis from a storage facility.
The cannabis, which the sheriff’s office refers to as “marijuana”, a term which has come to mean the dried leaf of the flower of the plant, which users inhale or ingest in order to get high off the psychoactive compound THC, is currently sitting in the sheriff’s office supposedly waiting for its rightful owner to come and claim it.
The post is believed to be in jest, with the owner of the drugs potentially facing serious penalties. This is despite cannabis now being legal in many states in the United States, although it is still banned by the federal government, making its current legal status somewhat unclear in the country, even for medical purposes.
Wayne Ivey of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said on social media: “If you happened to have lost or misplaced approximately 770 pounds of high grade marijuana and would like to have your property returned, please contact our Narcotics Agents and we will be more than happy to reunite you with your lost property!
“All of us at one point or another in our lives have lost or misplaced something important and are always hopeful that a good and kind person will find our lost item and do the right thing by returning it to it’s rightful owner.
“Since at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office we always strive to do the right thing, our Narcotics Agents are trying to identify the rightful owner of the approximately 770 lbs of marijuana that was seized from a mini-storage facility in Viera. I mean, trying to identify the rightful owner of the property is the very least we can do, especially since it has a street value of roughly two million dollars!
“So if the 770 lbs of marijuana belongs to you, all we need you to do is come down to our Criminal Investigative Services building on Gus Hipp Blvd in Rockledge and claim your property with absolutely no strings attached!
“Once we properly identify you as the rightful owner we will gladly return your property and also make sure that both you and your property are kept in a secure area so that no one can try to rip you off!
“In fact, we are so excited to return something this valuable to its rightful owner that we are also going to throw in an all expenses paid extensive “staycation” so that you can reflect for a while on exactly how much your lost property means to you!” (sic)
Netizens were largely unamused by the police sheriff’s attempt at humour, with many slamming them for the ‘war on drugs’.
Libertarian political activist and podcaster Jeremy ‘Spike’ Cohen, apparently reacting to people’s comments supposedly being deleted by the police, said: “You can delete our comments all you want, snowflakes. We’re still ending the war on drugs and forcing you chuckleheads to go after real criminals instead of harassing people over plants. BTW it’s illegal for government officials to delete comments. Not that y’all are known for following the law for yourselves.”
While the ‘Free State Project’ said: “If it still unclaimed next week, will take it.”
And musician ‘Adam Lee Marcus’ added: “That’s a full week supply for Willie Nelson.”
Some netizens also suggested that the police should donate it to a medical dispensary instead of incinerating it, with ‘David BillyBrass Hermes’ saying: “Instead of incinerating this stolen property, you should auction it to a medical dispensary so they can analyze and ensure quality. Then, have government grants in place to allow them to GIVE it away to those who could benefit from it.”
The legal status of cannabis in the United States remains unclear as it is still technically banned under federal law for any purpose under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which classifies it as a Schedule 1 substance, on the same level as heroin or LSD.
But this has not stopped 36 states and the District of Columbia legalising cannabis for medical use, with a further 18 states having legalised it for recreational use.