Between mass shootings, trade wars, and geopolitical tensions, it’s important to find humor and lightness. One example of a positive development amid the chaos is Americans’ ever-evolving stance on cannabis as they continue to advocate tolerance over arrest and incarceration.
Though legalization of the plant continues to spread, some parts of the country remain stuck in the past, and nowhere is this more evident than Van Buren County, Tennessee. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department has made a habit of posting its drug busts on its social media page. While their enforcement of outdated and oppressive laws may not be a sign of progress, the public’s reaction to their practices certainly is.
Last week, the department posted a picture of “drugs and paraphernalia” they confiscated. It was a couple of blunt roaches, some crumbs of cannabis, a scale, and what appears to be a vape pen. But once the internet caught wind of the “observant” officer’s bust, the police department was hit with confrontation from the public.
Other commenters were less nuanced, opting instead to troll and call the situation as they saw it (hint: ACAB means “All cops are bastards”):
At least one commenter literally couldn’t believe the cops were serious about their bust (we weren’t convinced either, so we cross-referenced Van Buren County’s website with the sheriff’s social media page and also called the department to confirm… yep, it’s really them):
Some commenters went beyond calling out hypocrisy and trolling to question the police officers’ fundamental authority to confiscate property from otherwise non-violent individuals:
This sentiment is even more apparent in another post from the department that received a similar trolling:
Other comments reflect similar perspectives from those expressed toward roach bust, including the waste of time and money, police corruption, and a spirit of trolling:
The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department page has multiple posts of minuscule cannabis busts (along with confiscations of other drugs), but they are far from the first to endure an internet rebuke for their behavior.
While posts like these may seem silly and superficial, in reality, they reflect an important development in the age of technology: as the federal government continues to ignore the will of the people — and as many state and local governments continue to follow their lead — social media is proving to be a powerful mechanism for people to communicate their beliefs and demands to those who rule over them.
If nothing else, it serves as an outlet for frustrated individuals to air their grievances with a government that evidently refuses to serve them.
In related positive news, this week a Tennessee house committee approved legislation to legalize medical cannabis.
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Contributed by Carey Wedler of theantimedia.org.
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