In February, possessing "Spice," a synthetic form of marijuana, became illegal in Arizona -- and some cops apparently are actually enforcing the new law. Just ask Glendale's Matthew Keller, 27, who was hit with a felony after admitting to cops he had some of the fake weed in his car.
Keller was stopped by a Yavapai County sheriff's deputy last week for speeding on U.S. 93. Once stopped, Keller told the deputy that he had some Spice in the car, and he'd smoked some earlier that day.
Had Keller read New Times, he'd know that the substance is now illegal in the Grand Canyon State. But he didn't, and told the deputy he had no idea possessing it was against the law.
The deputy searched Keller's vehicle and found six bottles of "Spice," each containing about three grams of faux-weed.
Keller told the deputy he bought the substance at a smoke shop in Glendale. He said he'd recently made the switch from real weed to "Spice" because he thought it was legal. Sadly, it's not -- anymore.
We called Yavapai County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn to see if this was his office's first arrest for Spice possession. He didn't immediately get back to us so we checked in with some other state cop shops, including the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, and nobody we spoke to could recall a single arrest for possession of fake weed. In fact, we could only find one instance of anyone getting arrested for anything related to fake weed, and that was a Tucson smoke shop owner who was arrested for selling it.
It appears Keller is the first person to fall victim to Arizona's nanny-state-ish new law. He was booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center and charged with drug and paraphernalia possession. He was released the following day on $3,500 bond.