When it comes to catching the bad guys, it seems police will use any trick in the book. Even if that trick is so obvious it hurts. Social media posts which show users enjoying a bong-rip, chowing down on some edibles, or showing off their fresh score have landed a few people in the slammer. There are even whole online communities, like #bongbeauties, which are entirely devoted to sharing sexy pics of cannabis use.
More and more, cops are realizing that stalking social media can lead them to potential drug busts and arrests. Police are regularly turning to Facebook to try to lure weed dealers and their clients out of the shadows and into a set of handcuffs.
Sometimes, however, their plans are so obvious that you have to admit whoever gets caught with them probably had it coming.
One new pot-catching tactic used by police is to post tantalizing pictures of marijuana on Facebook with “Lost and Found” captions asking their rightful owner to come pick up the ganja down at local precinct.
But however beautiful those pictures are, you might want to think twice about claiming the cannabis held by the police.
Police in Riverside Township, New Jersey, are dropping their hooks and looking for a big bite.
They’re putting the bait out there on Facebook saying they “found” some bags of nice looking weed, and they simply want to return it to the rightful owner. Another precinct in Texas is adopting the same approach.
“”Lost and Found” 1/2 lb of marijuana,” the Riverside Township Police’s post reads. “If you recognize this misplaced marijuana you may pick it up in our Police Station.”
The post’s pictures show eight full, one-ounce baggies of fresh, green nugs. It’s almost irresistible, except for the big D.A.R.E. ruler at the bottom of the image, which might as well be the bright colors on a poison-dart frog, warning potential predators to keep away.
It’s unknown whether or not anyone has fallen for this trap or taken the bait, but that hasn’t stopped cops from trying to catch people with it.
Do these techniques constitute entrapment? It’s a tricky question, but usually an entrapment defense won’t hold up in court on a drug charge. As a result, police are getting more brazen with their attempts to nab marijuana users online.
Adam is a staff writer for Green Rush Daily who hails from Corvallis, Oregon. He’s an artist, musician, and higher educator with deep roots in the cannabis community. His degrees in literature and psychology drive his interest in the therapeutic use of cannabis for mind and body wellness.