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Pair of Cops Booked After Being Caught Smoking Pot in Mississippi

A news release from Flowood Police Department, posted to Facebook, stated that two rookie officers with the Jackson County Police Department, Mississippi, were accused of possessing marijuana and paraphernalia. They were caught using weed in their patrol cars. This is the Clarion Ledger first reported the arrests of the two officers—both of whom just finished police academy.

Kenya Shardae McArty and Darius Jamal Short had been off duty at the time. They were sitting by a lake, doing their own thing, and were being approached by officers of another division. 

Two people were reported to have been smoking marijuana at Nature Trail Park by officers from the Flowood Police Department, Mississippi. This was around 5:45 p.m. December 17. Flowood’s Park Trail includes an elevated walkway—the perfect place to toke. 

The Flowood Police officers took the cops into custody and booked them. Two cops were accused of possessing cannabis and violating open containers, according to Flowood Police officials. The officers were then given a court date. They were also found to be in possession two guns, something that is quite common for off-duty officers.

“On December 17, 2021 officers were dispatched to the Nature Trail Park of Flowood in reference to individuals smoking marijuana,” the news release reads. “Officers arrived and located two subjects inside the park near the pond. Two subjects were found in the park near the pond and they were identified as Darius Jamal Short (B/M) and Kenya Shardae McCarty (F/F). A small amount of marijuana was found on the table where they were sitting. Officers also took possession of a firearm which was present on the table.”

The release continues, “A second firearm was also recovered along with open containers and marijuana paraphernalia. For the Possession of Marijuana, and Open Container Violation charges, they were brought to headquarters. They were each given a date to appear in court for the above-mentioned charges. These two individuals are recent graduates of the Jackson Police Academy and are currently employed by the Jackson Police Department.”

Meanwhile—Flowood Police Department is being sued by a man who said they sicced a K9 on him three times, in a separate incident a few years ago. The case escalated into a federal lawsuit worth $5 million.

“Such a waste of resources,” the top comment on the Facebook post reads. “Legalize weed, let them go, and move on.”

Mississippi law provides that 30 grams or less of cannabis can be punished with up to three years in prison and a maximum $3,000.  

Jackson Police Department Chief James Davis, instead of disciplining the officers, defended their behavior, explaining that the officers were not on duty at the time. Davis didn’t confirm whether or not the officers had been placed on administrative leave. “If an officer did something off duty, that’s their personal life,” he said. 

Whitt Law Firm states that the maximum punishment for first-time offenders in Mississippi who possess 30g or less cannabis is $250. However, anything more than 30 grams of cannabis is considered to be a felony.

Possession of less than 250 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $1,000 and a sentence of one to three years jail. A possession of five or more kilograms of cannabis may result in a penalty of between 10 and 30 years in prison, and a fine of $1 million. According to the NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws,

There are many cops who smoke pot or deal with it in the US. Sometimes they even get arrested. One of six individuals arrested in 2017 for selling hundreds of pounds worth of marijuana to a Cincinnati, Ohio police dispatcher was among them. A New Jersey patrol officer from the Paterson Police Department was arrested for selling marijuana and other illegal drugs to an unidentified federal informant.