A majority of Americans now think smoking marijuana is “socially acceptable,” according to a recent poll. But recreational use is still illegal in most states and under federal law, which can leave the people who have to enforce the law in a tough spot.
That’s a particular issue on April 20, known as the stoner holiday, or a day when people tend to smoke more of the drug than usual. While many police departments approached the holiday with humor this year on social media, some still take the smoking of the illegal drug seriously.
A crowd favorite was a Twitter post by the Wyoming, Minn. Public Safety Department. It showed “discreet traps” the police were setting up throughout the city, and was liked almost 40,000 times within a few hours.
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Most people praised the police station for their approach, and a main complaint was they needed “more up-to-date video games” and different snacks.
Other law enforcement offices asked people to “share their stash” with the officers, and to give them a call so they could come over, or take it in to their offices so they could weigh it with their “very accurate scales.”
The Police Department in Washington, Illinois warned folks of their “Twinkie Trap.” On their Facebook page, they promisted to be “ aiting the traffic trap with junk food. Next aisle: Twinkies. Stay safe Thursday and every day: don’t smoke (or chew, or vape, or dab or anything else) and drive!”
Some did take a serious approach, such as the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office in Virginia, who encouraged parents to look through their children’s possessions for anything marked 420, as “this may indicate that your child is involved with marijuana.” They also discouraged people from arguing about whether the drug should be legal in the Facebook comments, but that didn’t stop a handful of critical commenters.
Some praised the sheriff’s office for spreading awareness, while others said deputies should focus more on the heroin epidemic instead of “a plant that indeed does help certain people.”
Most law enforcement offices who took the serious route opted for a focus on driving under the influence of marijuana instead of its consumption. The Uxridge Police Department in Massachusetts, where recreational marijuana is legal under certain limitations, reminded people that driving while high is still against the law.
Troopers in Kansas, where weed is not legal, also reminded people to drive sober on Thursday.
The possession of marijuana for recreational use is legal under certain conditions in California, Oregon, Washington state, Alaska, Nevada, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.