I had been living in the west end of Portsmouth near the Scioto River Bridge. I had been trying to formulate a plan for organizing some people in that section of town into a political group. The exact nature of the group was unclear to me, but I realized if the people there were ever to have any real political power, they must organize.
I walked around the streets, surveying the area. I also began thinking that I would like to begin practicing archery and that I needed to obtain a bow and arrow. I thought shooting arrows might prove beneficial not only for purposes of protection but also to develop my concentration.
I encountered a couple overweight fellows (each about 20 years old) whom I had known when I used to live in Portsmouth. They were going to West Portsmouth and wanted me to go with them. Since we didn't have a car, we stuck out our thumbs to hitchhike. A pickup truck stopped, we jumped in the back and arrived at their place in West Portsmouth.
We went up to the second floor of a building and into a bedroom with a hard wood floor. The other two soon began talking about marijuana, said they were going to buy some and wanted to know whether I also would like to buy any. I declined. Apparently the marijuana was going to cost about $50. One of the others had the money and left to buy it. Apparently he was going to buy it from Eubanks (a Portsmouth acquaintance whom I barely knew around 1970). He quickly returned with a paper bag, opened it and showed me about 20 joints inside. The joints were quite peculiar. They were extremely large and bunches of green seeds were sticking out one end. Actually the marijuana looked like pieces of broccoli which had been broken off and then had a cigarette paper wrapped around it.
One of the fellows (who seemed also like a female) began smoking. I lay down, put my arm over my head and covered my eyes. But I could still smell the marijuana smoke and I wondered if it would affect me any by just being in the room. Suddenly I realized the fellow smoking the marijuana was leaning toward me and blowing the smoke in my face. When I inhaled, I clearly smelled it and I thought it certainly would have an effect upon me. However I didn't stop him from blowing the smoke in my face because I thought I wasn't actually smoking and I really did want to feel the effects of the marijuana. Gradually I thought I began to perceive some change in me.
Someone knocked at the door and one of the fellows opened it. It crossed my mind that they should be more careful about just opening the door since they had the marijuana in the room. The fellow immediately slammed the door shut and shouted out that two fat policemen were outside. The two fellows immediately grabbed the marijuana, which was in a bowl, began tearing the cigarette papers from it and crumbling it up into a fine powder separating the seeds and stems from the leaves. I thought that was actually what they should have done before smoking it so they wouldn't have had to have smoked the stems and seeds. The purpose now was simply to make the marijuana easier to dispose of.
I looked out our second story window to see if any police were outside. When I didn't see any, I picked up some of the marijuana and threw it through the window. Much of it landed on the leaves of a tall, green, leafy plant outside. We continued throwing more and more of the marijuana outside until it was all gone.
We then opened the doors and the two overweight policemen, dressed in civilian clothes, walked in. They didn't seem to be in any hurry and they didn't even search the room. They simply peered around – one began talking. He apparently knew who I was and he said that if I were convicted of a drug offense, I might be disbarred from the practice of law. Finally however he made it clear that he wasn't really interested in arresting any of us. What he wanted was for us to tell him who had sold the marijuana.
He quickly brought out a large television set and a video recording device upon which he intended to record any statements we might make. I immediately began speaking and told him I hadn't possessed any of the marijuana. I continued to say I had "not smoked any dope in eight months." He seemed to think that was significant and I wondered if I had unwittingly confessed to smoking marijuana at an earlier time and if the confession could be used in evidence against me.
It puzzled me that the policemen didn't seem concerned about gathering up any marijuana for evidence. I knew quite a bit must have fallen on the floor and I even saw some. One of the other fellows with me picked up a piece and threw it out the window, but the policemen didn't say anything.
I had no intention of giving the police any information about where the marijuana had been purchased. I was simply concerned about being set free. Finally we all walked outside. Since I knew we hadn't yet actually been placed under arrest, I asked one of the policemen if he intended to arrest me. He mumbled that he did. I immediately became defensive and told him he had no evidence with which to arrest me. I shouted out that he had no "probable cause" for my arrest. I thought by accurately stating the legal terminology he would be aware that I knew what I was talking about.
I then shouted at him that what he was doing was "unjust." I told him the type of work he did was unjust to begin with, but to arrest an innocent person without evidence was even more so.
I then declared that he hadn't even bothered to ask the other people who had been with me whether I had been smoking. (I began thinking there had actually been four people, including at least one woman, in the room with me before the police had arrived.) I adamantly insisted that he should ask them. Finally he and the other policeman conferred for a moment and it appeared they had decided I was right. We headed back inside where the policemen apparently intended to ask the others whether I had smoked anything. I had the distinct impression that if the others said I hadn't been smoking, then I wasn't going to be arrested.
I also began thinking I might be able to give some other type of evidence. Perhaps I could take a blood test. But then I realized that might not be a good idea because since I had inhaled some of the marijuana smoke blown in my face, I might actually have traces of marijuana in my system. Perhaps I could take a lie detector test. But there again, since I had inhaled some marijuana, I might have trouble with the test.
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