RICHMOND, Va. — Saying that they tried to be reasonable by giving multiple warnings, Richmond Police (RPD) fired tear gas at a single marijuana joint they say was in violation of multiple laws, the agency confirmed Saturday.
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“At approximately 11 a.m., Richmond Police responded to a call regarding illegal marijuana use,” Lt. Buck Johnson explained in a statement, adding that less-than-lethal force was deemed necessary after the blunt refused to comply with police orders.
“A single joint of marijuana resting on the sidewalk in the 2300 block of W. Floyd Ave was deemed to be trespassing, loitering, you name it, so backup was called in immediately. We told the joint multiple times that its presence on the sidewalk was declared to be an unlawful assembly, and we ordered it to vacate the space immediately. After the weed stick ignored our commands, we were left with no choice but to use chemical weapons against it.”
“We’re confident we made the right decision in de-escalating the situation,” he added. “We did not ultimately feel it was necessary to use flashbangs or our batons on the joint, but we were prepared to do so.”
Following its tear gassing, Johnson said that the strip of reefer was taken into custody and charged with multiple felonies before being smoked by the officers to see if weed laced with tear gas hits different.