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Bong Water Can Be Illegal Drug, Minnesota Court Rules

dartworth

Lifer
Jul 29, 2001
15,196
0
71
MINNEAPOLIS ?
Bong water can count as a controlled substance, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a decision that raises the threat of longer sentences for drug smokers who fail to dump the water out of their pipes.

In a 4-3 decision Thursday, the state's highest court said a person can be prosecuted for a first-degree drug crime for 25 grams or more of bong water that tests positive for a controlled substance.

The decision, which reverses two lower court rulings, came in the case of Sara Peck. Items seized during a search of her Rice County home in 2007 included a glass bong ? a type of water pipe often used to smoke drugs ? that contained 37 grams ? about 2 1/2 tablespoons ? of a liquid that tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.

The Supreme Court said that unambiguously counts as a drug "mixture" under the wording of state law and sent the case back to Rice County District Court for further proceedings. The decision, authored by Justice G. Barry Anderson, noted that the liquid wasn't plain clear water, but had a pink color and fruity odor, and that a narcotics officer had testified that drug users sometimes keep bong water to drink or inject later.

The statute defines a drug "mixture" as "a preparation, compound, mixture, or substance containing a controlled substance, regardless of purity." When the language of a statute is unambiguous, the high court said, precedents prohibit courts from disregarding the letter of the law under the pretext of pursuing the letter of the law.

In a sharply worded dissent, Justice Paul Anderson said the majority's decision "does not make sense, and borders on the absurd." He said it isn't consistent with what the Legislature intended when it wrote the state's drug laws. And he blasted Rice County authorities for charging Peck with such a serious crime.

If bong water is considered a drug mixture, and it weighs enough to raise the crime to a first-degree drug offense, the presumed sentence for a first-time offender is seven years and two months in prison, and a felony drug offense goes on his or her record, Paul Anderson wrote.

But if the bong water is treated as part of the drug paraphernalia, as the lower courts held, he wrote, the same defendant would face no more than a $300 fine and the petty misdemeanor conviction would not go on his or her record.

Justices Alan Page and Helen Meyer joined in Paul Anderson's dissent.

Attorney Bradford Delapena, who represents Peck, said he had not yet had a chance to discuss the ruling with her, but he said the dissent correctly pointed out the problems the ruling raises.

"They're treating Ms. Peck, who had two tablespoons of bong water, as if she were a major drug wholesaler," he said.

Delapena said Peck's case now goes back to the trial court, where he said prosecutors could use the ruling to try to extract a guilty plea to a more serious offense with a stiffer sentence than a $300 fine on a petty misdemeanor. He laughed at the suggestion that it means dope smokers should empty their bongs promptly.

"I wouldn't presume to draw that lesson," he said. "I would just stick with the legal lessons."
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zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
102,117
16,334
136
some officer says they keep bong water to drink or inject later?

wtf. this has to be morally bankrupt police work at the least.
 

mcmilljb

Platinum Member
May 17, 2005
2,144
2
81
Considering it's mostly water, the police should have to extract the marijuana residue to determine the actual amount present to give the correct charge. You can't say 37 grams of water mixed with marijuana residue is 37g of an illegal substance. No one in their right mind would consider that an appropriate way of determining the charge. If cops refuse to do so, then go with the lesser charge and move on.
 

scott916

Platinum Member
Mar 2, 2005
2,912
0
71
Even though my bong has never seen any tweak and I find it hard to sympathize with tweakers, this is fucking silly. Are they gonna charge the guy who flushes his coke down the toilet when he gets raided with the weight of the water in the bowl?
 

Eli

Super Moderator | Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 9, 1999
50,425
5
81
Originally posted by: scott916
Even though my bong has never seen any tweak and I find it hard to sympathize with tweakers, this is fucking silly. Are they gonna charge the guy who flushes his coke down the toilet when he gets raided with the weight of the water in the bowl?
My thoughts exactly. This is insanity.
 

ebaycj

Diamond Member
Mar 9, 2002
5,419
0
0
Originally posted by: mcmilljb
Considering it's mostly water, the police should have to extract the marijuana residue to determine the actual amount present to give the correct charge. You can't say 37 grams of water mixed with marijuana residue is 37g of an illegal substance. No one in their right mind would consider that an appropriate way of determining the charge. If cops refuse to do so, then go with the lesser charge and move on.
Does this mean that anyone who owns oceanfront property is guilty of possession of drugs in a quantity equal to the mass of all the water in all the oceans of the world combined ?

Really ?
 

MikeMike

Lifer
Feb 6, 2000
45,886
66
91
except it was Meth residue and not Pot... i have no idea wtf meth heads do with their leftover bong water...
 

NetWareHead

THAT guy
Aug 10, 2002
5,859
154
106
I dont think this would apply to pot smokers since THC and related compounds dont dissolve in water. Either an alcohol or oil based solvent is needed. I could be wrong, but im just basing it on the fact that stoners prove this by cooking weed in butter to make weed butter, brownies etc... Meth on the other hand I have no idea if water soluable but according to the article, sounds like it is.
 

iGas

Diamond Member
Feb 7, 2009
6,240
1
0

America at its finest!

You can own guns, join the army to kill yourself & people around you at 18, but you can't have water in a bong.
 

AlienCraft

Lifer
Nov 23, 2002
10,539
0
0
Originally posted by: MIKEMIKE
except it was Meth residue and not Pot... i have no idea wtf meth heads do with their leftover bong water...
They smoke it later when they run of of crystalline meth.

There is still plenty of vaporised and reconstituted meth in that water to get one 's monkey a scratch.

 

zanejohnson

Diamond Member
Nov 29, 2002
7,048
7
81
Originally posted by: NetWareHead
I dont think this would apply to pot smokers since THC and related compounds dont dissolve in water. Either an alcohol or oil based solvent is needed. I could be wrong, but im just basing it on the fact that stoners prove this by cooking weed in butter to make weed butter, brownies etc... Meth on the other hand I have no idea if water soluable but according to the article, sounds like it is.
yes it's very water soluble, how do you think meth users inject the drug?

throw some crystal in a spoon with a little water, stir, or just wait for it to all disolve... throw a cigarette filter in there to filter out particles, draw it into syringe, find a vein, and destroy your life...
 

jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,476
205
106
Originally posted by: scott916
Even though my bong has never seen any tweak and I find it hard to sympathize with tweakers, this is fucking silly. Are they gonna charge the guy who flushes his coke down the toilet when he gets raided with the weight of the water in the bowl?
Sounds like you need to read the article again, because you obviously don't understand the ruling.
 

AbAbber2k

Diamond Member
Mar 1, 2005
6,490
1
0
So wait... they're just looking for more ways to stick it to casual users? WTF is wrong with these people? I've never even tried pot (or anything else for that matter) and I think this is absolutely absurd. Why can't they refocus their efforts on people who actually cause harm like meth dealers/producers? Ya, the streets are a lot safer now that some teenager who gets high once on the weekends is off the streets and can't wander down to 7-11 for a bag of Funyuns. Damn troublemakers.
 

destrekor

Lifer
Nov 18, 2005
28,728
332
126
Originally posted by: AbAbber2k
So wait... they're just looking for more ways to stick it to casual users? WTF is wrong with these people? I've never even tried pot (or anything else for that matter) and I think this is absolutely absurd. Why can't they refocus their efforts on people who actually cause harm like meth dealers/producers? Ya, the streets are a lot safer now that some teenager who gets high once on the weekends is off the streets and can't wander down to 7-11 for a bag of Funyuns. Damn troublemakers.
you do drugs once and you are immediately the worst person the world has ever seen and you need to be dealt with using the harshest penalties ever conceived.

/DEA
 

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