Uniting States of Marijuana: the country's evolving laws on cannabis
As far as Lon Victor Post was concerned, nothing he was doing Wednesday morning was illegal. He was just sitting in his car, playing music and smoking a little marijuana.
The only problem? Post was in Mohave County, Arizona, where recreational marijuana is still illegal.
So when police officers arrived at his car after reports of an intoxicated man playing music loudly at 1:30 a.m., Post’s behavior was more than a little odd at first, according to an arrest record published by the Mohave Valley Daily News.
When deputies asked him to turn the music down, Post did. The officers then noticed an odor of burnt marijuana and a small plastic bag in his shirt pocket, per The Daily Miner. They asked him to remove the bag, which he did, and asked him what was in it. Post admitted freely that it was weed and that he did not have a medical license to possess marijuana in the state of Arizona.
But when the officers then tried to arrest Post, he resisted, apparently thinking he was being unjustly detained. After officers approached him a second time and he responded by taking an aggressive step forward, one of the officers used her Taser on him, per the Phoenix New Times.
After that, the New Times reports, Post calmed down and asked why he was being arrested.
“The deputy advised Post that in Arizona, marijuana is illegal without a prescription and medical marijuana card,” per the arrest records.
More than 100,000 of Arizona’s 6.73 million residents have registered to use medical marijuana, per the New Times. This past November, voters considered Proposition 205, which would have made recreational marijuana legal in the state. However, the measure was defeated by a margin of 52 percent to 48, per the New York Times.
To be fair to Post, Arizona was one of five states to vote on marijuana legalization on Nov. 8, and it was the only one where voters rejected the measure. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, California, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine and Washington D.C. have all voted to legalize weed in the past few years, and medical marijuana is now legal in a majority of states, per Governing Magazine.
However, even if recreational marijuana was legal in Arizona, or even if Post had a medical marijuana card, it is still illegal to smoke publicly in most states, including Arizona.