Despite New Times' discovery last month that Phoenix police are routinely using Craigslist to bust people offering to sell "medical marijuana" for the price of a "donation," the busts continue.
Even though some people post lengthy disclaimers in their ads, claiming that there's no pot sale going on, it's just a transfer of medical-marijuana between patients -- with a donation involved -- it's not preventing the busts.
-Earth to Pot Dealers: Selling "Medical Marijuana" on Craigslist Not the Greatest Idea
Most of these posts even mention what the, um, suggested donation is -- like $90 for a quarter-ounce and $150 for a half-ounce. Now, why would police ever believe that marijuana is being sold?
In a recent bust of an alleged marijuana salesman, 31-year-old Andre Johnson, police note right in the probable-cause statement:
[State law] prohibits the exchange of anything of monetary value for marijuana. Anyone selling marijuana or receiving anything of monetary value is in violation of the Medical Marijuana ActMany of these people police meet through Craigslist posts are operating outside the medical-marijuana laws in other ways, too.
When police caught up with Johnson -- who tried to run when he found out he had set up a sale with a cop -- they found out that he had more than a half-pound of weed in his apartment, near 25th Avenue and Cactus Road.
In addition to having more than the legal amount, Johnson also had a plant in his apartment, according to court documents.
In addition to these pot dealers making busts so easy that cops can do most of the work while sitting at a computer in their underwear, it also allows for another felony charge: Using electronic communication in a drug transaction. In Johnson's case, that was the third felony charge he was booked on, in addition to marijuana possession and marijuana production.
He has prior arrests for both marijuana and narcotic-drug offenses, according to court documents.
No matter how thorough your disclaimer is on Craigslist (example), you're really not going to win an argument with the cops that you're just transferring marijuana between patients, and there happens to be a donation involved.
Some of these ads don't even claim it's for a donation; they just list prices at the bottom of the post without dollar signs. Despite our previous warning that these busts were taking place, we have a feeling that people won't stop doing it, and cops won't stop busting them.
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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.