With marijuana becoming more mainstream with each passing day, police continue to criminalize it with each passing day by making senseless arrests.
And it doesn’t get anymore senseless than the latest arrest which took place Saturday when New York City police officers confiscated 106 pounds of legal industrial hemp enriched with CBD.
The NYPD cops then bragged about the arrest by posting photos of themselves on Twitter surrounded by bags of hemp or what they described as “marijuana destined for our city streets.”
The reaction on Twitter was swift with most people questioning why are police still cracking down on cannabis, especially now that it is legal in more states than it is not legal.
Commenters became even more condescending when the owner of the company that owned the hemp responded on Instagram by saying the NYPD seized his hemp and falsely arrested his brother despite having the proper documentation proving it was legal.
While it’s true hemp looks just like marijuana and they both are considered cannabis plants, hemp lacks THC, the main compound to get one high, which is measured at less than .30 percent in hemp.
Hemp is much more abundant in CBD which became legal last year at the federal level with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Marijuana, on the other hand, has about 15 to 25 percent THC. But even if the product did contain enough THC to get people high, the most dangerous part about that is that it could get one killed by police if they believe they smell it.
After all, both THC and CBD have proven to have many medicinal benefits which is why so many states are legalizing marijuana. A recent poll in New York determined two out of every three people support legalization of recreational marijuana.
The hemp in question was discovered in packages that had been delivered via Federal Express by a Brooklyn-based company named Green Angel CBD. Although the delivery included the proper paperwork, a Federal Express driver took it upon himself to call the cops.
According to the New York Post:
Oren Levy, who sells hemp wholesale through his company GreenAngels CBD, claims that a “gung-ho” Fedex driver took it upon himself to report the shipment to the 75th Precinct when it arrived in Brooklyn — despite the fact that the cargo had all the necessary documentation to prove it was legal.
The Post reviewed paperwork prepared by a third-party and shipped along with the hemp certifying that THC levels were well below the federal legal limit of .3 percent THC by volume. His hemp shipment was certified to contain .14 percent THC, according to documents he provided The Post.
On Saturday, cops called GreenAngels CBD telling them to come pick up their greenery — but when Levy’s brother Ronen arrived at the station house, cops instead slapped cuffs on him.
“I want it back. It’s 100 percent legal” Levy told The Post adding that he is out up to $30,000 since the cops took the delivery. “I have helped thousands of people — people with cancer, people with autism, pain, arthritis, people with severe skin issues, people who haven’t slept for weeks. We are a legitimate business.”
Andrew Subin, a lawyer with the Vermont farm that sold Levy the plants, said a detective from the precinct asked him what the legal THC limit was.
“He was claiming that he didn’t know the legal limit. He said that he needed to do his own test,” Subin said. “We have a test by a certified lab, so I don’t understand why they need to do their own test. This is having a real impact on our client and the buyer.”
Ronen Levy was released the following day with no bail but the charges are still pending. The NYPD still has not removed is self-congratulatory post on Twitter.