Good news for marijuana users who still manage to get arrested even though recreational weed is now legal. According to the Associated Press, the San Francisco Superior Court has ruled that suspects arrested and jailed while carrying cannabis must be given all of their marijuana back when released from jail.
“It should be like getting your shoes back,” this ruling’s victorious attorney Lara Bazelon told the Associated Press. “But it isn’t.”
It is now. Bazelon represented a defendant named Robert T. Smith who’d been arrested in January for disturbing the peace. Smith happened to have a cool 21 grams of cannabis in his backpack when arrested, and naturally, San Francisco police refused to return him that sizable phat sack.
The cops explained that they were just following federal laws against distributing drugs, and a trial judge upheld that claim in April of this year. But a three-judge panel overturned the decision in an appeal ruling announced this week, paving the way for many happy returns when suspects are released from San Francisco city or county jails.
That said, there is a limit to how much marijuana police will return to you under these circumstances. Under this ruling, law enforcement are only required to return the cannabis if you were carrying one ounce (28 grams) or less. But that is still a formidable amount of weed, and would cost you well over $200 at current San Francisco dispensary prices.