But there remain those for whom cannabis possession and use is a criminal act—one worthy of taxpayer resources, even if it means searching the hospital room of a stage 4 cancer patient. Because nothing says threat to public safety like a cancer patient in possession of some weed.
On Thursday, March 7, High Times reports, Nolan Sousley, who has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, was visited late at night by several of Bolivar, Missouri's finest in his hospital room, who arrived in response to a complaint from a hospital security guard. The guard, no doubt a chronic self-pleasurer to the Paul Blart: Mall Cop box set, had encountered Sousley earlier that evening in the parking lot of the hospital as he was hitting a Swisher Sweet cigar after taking cannabis oil capsules, which he says his doctor had full knowledge he was using.
Lying in his bed, ready to sleep, Sousley says the same security guard entered the room, saying he could smell marijuana. "I told him, 'I don’t smoke marijuana. I don’t have any with me,'" he said. Sousley said the security guard asked to search his bags. "I said, 'No, he can’t. He’s a security guard. Just leave my room,'" he said. Sousley said the security officer then called the Bolivar Police Department.Sousley shot and posted video of the exchange from there, with one of the officers telling him, "If we find marijuana we will give you a citation. We’re not taking you down to the county jail, but we haven’t found marijuana, so we’re not citing.” Their search yielded no cannabis.
Sousley's doctor asked Officer Dumpsterfire, “Do you have the right to search his stuff? Or do you need a warrant for that?” An officer and the security guard, both of whom undoubtly have unexamined power issues, explain that because it's private property, they don't need a warrant.
Last November, Missouri voters approved a medical cannabis program which has yet to be implemented, something the Bolivar Police chief explained justified the officers actions. “It’s still a controlled substance in Missouri,” he said. “It’s not legal yet.”
Response to the video was widespread and overwhelmingly critical of the Bolivar police officer's actions, resulting in the department shutting down their Facebook page until further notice. “We were inundated by negative feedback,” said the police chief, who added, "No one’s being fired, and we have no plans to start an internal affairs investigation.”
Sousley was remarkably chill about the entire fiasco, saying that he doesn’t begrudge the officers for doing their job. As he told High Times, “I’m trying to defend the cops. They did what they had to do. But, I’m their customer,” adding that he believes officers should treat people with respect until they perceive a threat.