A Sanford, North Carolina resident is facing felony charges for possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Instead of stemming from a stop and frisk run-in or tense roadside interaction, this particular arrest occurred after narcotics officers watched Teon Shamal La’Shane Douglas stash a bag of weed and a cell phone behind bushes at the local courthouse - an ill-advised attempt at passing his probation hearing without smelling too much like skunk.
According to the Fayetteville Observer, the cops on scene didn’t act immediately, letting Douglas sweat out his probation hearing before putting him in handcuffs and filing new charges over the poorly hidden goods.
Law enforcement officers say they recovered about 15 grams of marijuana, a phone and “other items” in the shrubbery, which, thanks to North Carolina’s still-draconian drug laws, was enough to give Douglas the felony distribution charge.
Now, no one here is saying that bringing weed anywhere near a probation hearing is a good idea, and we’re certainly not recruiting Douglas for our team hide and seek squad, but even for someone already in trouble with Johnny Law, felony charges for a half ounce of weed is still unnecessarily harsh.
To make matters even worse, it was the same police officer who put Douglas on probation in the first place who spotted his foliage foraging and initiated the new arrest.
Bail for the new charges has been set at $10,000 and it is not clear if Douglas has hired a lawyer to defend him, but if he has, we’re guessing the attorney’s first piece of advice will be to leave the weed at home for every subsequent trial date - a continually relevant piece of guidance that Douglas probably could have used last week.