Police in New York City have a bit of a bad history when it comes to cannabis. Despite the fact that the city has taken steps to decriminalize cannabis, there have still been close to 2,000 people arrested for it this year. The vast majority of those who were arrested for cannabis in the Big Apple this year have been people of color. A few years back, the NYPD Commissioner hilariously blamed cannabis use for violence in the city.
On November 3rd, NYPD’s 75th Precinct posted a photo on their Facebook page with officers holding 106 pounds of what they believed to be illegal cannabis. Unfortunately for the officers, it was actually hemp that they confiscated. The caption posted along with the photo reads: “Great job by Day Tour Sector E yesterday. Working with FedEx and other local law enforcement, they were able to confiscate 106 Lbs. of marijuana, and arrest the individual associated with the intended delivery.”
Fox Holler Farms, in New Haven, Vermont, later made a Facebook post of their own to clarify the story. The legal hemp farm explained how they are compliant with their hemp crops. The farm explained how officers mistakenly thought the intercepted shipment was illegal marijuana – when it was actually perfectly legal and compliant hemp.
Part of the post from Fox Holler reads: “We’ve been working hard all summer to grow a CBD compliant hemp crop. We succeeded too; Our crop was “Non detectable” on delta 9 thc – compliant in Vermont, New York and federally. This shipment was 100% hemp. We shipped 106 lbs to our legitimate buyer and CBD-business owner in NYC and it was intercepted by the NYPD. Why are these officers showing off hemp as though it’s marijuana? Why are they not aware of the laws they are entrusted to protect?”
These are very legitimate questions for the hemp farm to be asking. It must be immensely frustrating for farmers to work all summer to grow their hemp crops, only to have them intercepted by law enforcement who are clearly uninformed of the substances they are tasked with policing. These officers need some serious retraining, as they are obviously unable to tell the difference between these two plants.
There hasn’t been any word yet as to whether the stolen hemp was returned to Fox Holler Farms. This is a bare minimum – and there should be an apology issued to these farmers at the very least. There is also no information currently available regarding the status of the person that NYPD said they arrested for their involvement with this case.