Man arrested for suspected pot DUI over color of his tongue?

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Mike Simmons says he was busted for suspected pot DUI because of the color of his tongue.

PUYALLUP — Pot may be legal in Washington state, but Kent police recently arrested a Puyallup man for driving under the influence because, he said, he had a green film on his tongue.

Mike Simmons, 31, said Tuesday he was put in jail for 13 hours. Now with towing and lawyer fees, he said he’s out $5,000 and he’s not allowed to drive while he’s out on bail.

All for something he said he didn’t do.

“As soon as the officer came to the vehicle, he asked me to stick out my tongue,” said Simmons.

Simmons thought it was an unusual request but he soon found out he was pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Simmons said the officer told him there was a green film on his tongue. The unidentified police officer apparently felt that is a telltale sign that someone has been smoking marijuana.

Simmons admitted he had smoked pot three days earlier, but says when he was pulled over he was on a lunch break from work and was stone-cold sober.

“There was nothing in the car, so I don’t know what kind of evidence he had based on just a green film on my tongue,” Simmons said.

According to the law that made pot legal in the state, a driver can have no more than 5 nanograms of THC in their blood.

Simmons refused to take give a blood sample without a lawyer present. He said he was then arrested and taken to jail.

Kent police spokesman Pat Lowery couldn’t talk about the case “because it’s an ongoing investigation,” but said a blood sample isn’t required if an officer believes the person is driving under the influence.

“Driving while impaired is still driving while impaired,” Lowery said.

Simmons swears he wasn’t impaired because he didn’t smoke pot that day, and he’s ready to fight the charges.

“I just feel like the system they have is unfair,” said Simmons.

He also said he has a lawyer and may sue the Kent Police Department.

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    • anonymous

      It's not like they really need to prove alleged crimes or anything. Wasting tax dollars is much more fun for them!

      • electropig

        When it comes to court, if the guy can provide enough evidence to prove he's innocent, they also have the added tool of being able to "rule evidence as inadmissible in court" too, so they guarantee that "the truth" doesn't conflict with "the agenda."

      • electropig

        That's what I said at the time…but NOBODY wanted to hear it, because they all "knew" that once I-502 was passed, it was going to be "completely legal." Of course, they all voted WITHOUT READING THE BILL AT ALL, so what they "knew" was based on pure hearsay and fraud…and now, they are suffering because they REFUSED to read it before they voted for it.

        Funny thing…it IS "legal." It's just not FREE, because there are statutes in place which PROHIBIT IT, and give YOUR EMPLOYEES the right to continue to do whatever they want TO YOU, instead of simply leaving you alone for not harming anyone else.

        If there was any sense in prohibiting a plant, you'd think that they'd ban poison ivy, or poison oak, or hemlock, or…but then…that's being logical…and we know that cannabis prohibition has always been entirely political.

    • pablo

      Because pot stays in the fat cells 27 days or so . So anyone who smoked let's say 2 days before being pulled over will have test positive . I think anyway ,could be wrong .

      • electropig

        Yes, you're wrong, but your thoughts were generally on point.

        Phytocannabinoid metabolites (the breakdown components of cannabinoids, rather than the "active phytocannabinoids" themselves) remain in the system for up to 65 days in some studies, and up to 45 days in others.

        Basically, if you smoked a joint two months back, you will still be "legally impaired" under I-502, despite the fact that you haven't been "actually impaired" for months. There are also the cases of medicinal users who have developed such a tolerance that they are NEVER "impaired" at all…but then, those are "facts", and they don't fit in with the "established agenda."

  • grammyj

    A green film on his tongue??? R u serious? Where is that cops head? Unbelievable! In my 50+ years never have I seen or heard of pot leaving a green film on your tongue! That's just crazy!

  • Donald

    Something is missing in this story. Like if this guy is telling the truth why not take the blood test to tell if he was 5 nanograms or under?

  • mjb

    to those that say, "just do the blood test" are missing the point.
    when this is done to you under false pretenses, you will be singing a different tune…….
    off now to eat my green jolly ranchers…..LOL

  • andrachel

    @donald – pot stays in your system for days. even if you had smoked a week ago, a day ago, or 12 hours ago and were sober at the time, the nanograms are still in your system – and stay there for days/weeks/months depending on how frequent of a smoker you are.

    • electropig

      The problem is that what remains in your system are METABOLITES! The breakdown "results of previous cannabinoid injestion." The tests are NOT DESIGNED TO PROVE INTOXICATION IN THE FIRST PLACE!

      They can't prove intoxication by saying "Two months ago, you smoked weed, therefore, TODAY, we judge you as 'intoxicated' and sentence you to _______ for not actually harming anyone, or actually doing anything wrong."

      Prohibition has been a scam since day one…and the ONLY workable, long-term solution to the problems that prohibition has created is to REPEAL PROHIBITION.

      Good thing nobody EVER says those words…or it'd have been over by 1938.

  • Meg

    I really don’t care what it was that was allegedly smoked or consumed, if you’re under the influence of ANYTHING that impairs you, you shouldn’t be driving end of story. He either isn’t truthful about something or he sucks at driving because I doubt the officer pulled him over “for no reason”. Just saying…

    • Dan

      Really?, if a cop wants to pull you over, he or she is very capable of making up a reason…hoping they can then get you on a warrant or something

    • Kristina

      True you shouldn't drive while impaired but for those medical cannabis patients who have had a card for years and built up a tolerance we are still able to function at a level equal to competent. There is being stoned and being medicated, I will argue there is a difference for anyone who hasn't tried.

    • Isaiah

      Cops are trained to arrest people to meet their quota. They don't give a damn about us, all they care about is making arrest

  • anonymous

    Well I know for a fact that I have been pulled over for no reason! And the bastard mad me late for work too! Held me there for 15 minutes while he tried to find something to get me in trouble for! Some cops are going to go crazy about this for awhile but a green film? Really? That’s ridiculous. Soon the law will be no green slurpies, gum, jolly ranchers, suckers… retarded

    • chet

      well im so sure you were pulled over for no reason. i mean an outstanding citizen like you would never get pulled over for doing anything wrong

  • Mr Holmes

    The unidentified police officer? Why is the cops name not identified? Is this another Q13 fox thing only half the truth media propaganda?

  • Mr Holmes

    Yea I guess showing the name of the cop that made this arrest would show who is a total Jack Wagon and how much of an a$$ or iddiot cop he is.

  • Mater the Obvious

    This kind of DUI enforcement occurred prior to 502, not just in WA, but in every other state as well.

    A green tongue is not a "per se" slam for the prosecution. Only a blood draw can show whether or not he met the threshold requirements of 5 NG.

  • overeazie

    the issue is the testing protocol. there is a lot of discussion about the proper way to test for being under the influence of MJ, and i think we all agree that the blood test IS NOT a good test. This situation will only arise the topic for those lazy bloodclots to get to work on how to actually test influence of MJ at the time, not trace amounts left over.

  • guest

    saw this guy on t.v., total stoner. an example of what we have to look forward to with legalizing dope. Remember, they callit dope for a reason

    • Joe

      Just wow. And how many pharmaceutical meds do you take? Cause each one of those is more dangerous the Cannabis. Keep on living the lie with a blanket over your eyes.

    • lolwut?

      Exactly, guest.

      If drugs were illegal, everybody will be high. There will be syringes falling out of the sky, crack dealers on every corner, crack smokers on every block, and the whole world will remember that day as: Dopegendon. It's a much better idea to lock up everybody behind bars, especially black people, because that's how 'guest' and I roll. So just forget about how the drug war empowers drug cartels and is inherently racist, it's all about the dope. It's about saving… the… CHILDREN.

    • dmg

      I am certain they call it dope is because all stoners are stupid, right? That is why so much progress has been made, right? I agree. Stoners are all totally stupid. If you only knew what the stoners in Seattle actually do for Seattle-you would sing a different tune. I am CERTAIN that the work of "stoners" high on "dope" has helped someone you care about.

  • Brad

    They are testing for 5ng of "active" thc. After smoking that number goes down approximately after 3hrs of smoking it. That is what they are supposed to be testing for. Not how many total ng of thc, but active thc. Yes it is a low number but if you're smoking and driving you shouldn't be smoking in the first place, and I'm a smoker. Smoke up, but drive safe !

  • izbushka

    Kent cops should focus on cleaning up the scum people that are ruining this town (the thugs), rather than wasting effort on people that really aren't hurting anyone. PRIORITIES PEOPLE.

  • guest

    I agree, there might be something missing…. However, I do NOT like needled in any way, the only person poking me is a RN or DR… Regardless… It is truly absurd.

  • oldpatriot

    I guess the lesson I learned is to always have some kind of green candy in the car, anytime you get pulled over have a peice in your mouth that you hand to the officer when he asks you to stick out your tounge.

  • Chris

    Prohibitionists will never give up. Morons with no purpose to life other than patronize others. Green film? I hope that's not in any kind of instructional video. I have never once in my entire life seen "green film" on anyone's tongue. What a complete bogus load of bullshit. There is nothing green in the smoke to even remotely begin to accomplish that.

    There are no studies about it the validity of the THC rule because it's totally bogus – there is no science behind it. "per se" is what it is. Fact is, there is no discernible way to measure impairment based on blood volume. THC is fat soluble, but not water soluble, so a persons body composition, etc, will naturally effect the amount of THC, and thus the metabolites will vary in their blood. A person who is overweight and enjoys cannabis will have higher concentrations period. This is something cannabis enthusiasts will have to deal with for the next year and 3/4 until hopefully logic and reason can appeal and change it based on valid science. This has to be something driven by the medical and recreational cannabis communities, and because no valid science will come from law enforcement, or media. CNN recently tested drivers, and the methods were………..err…….less than scientific. Even though it was light on Cannabis, it was still stereotypical. Too bad these news reports influence voters by masquerading as information worthy of consideration.

  • james

    I really don't care what it was that was allegedly smoked or consumed, if you're under the influence of ANYTHING that impairs you, you shouldn't be driving end of story.

    • Guest

      better not think while criving it can impair you, and better not have coffee or a cig while driving , it impairs you . . . .. . . . give me a break with the blanket straw man arguments

      your fallacy is showing

  • Toni Hankett-Mills

    Mayor Cooke and the Kent Police have shown time and time again that they will continue to discriminate and harass patients. If not by this then by putting a Moratorium in place that goes against 79% of the Voters. Or by Raiding Collectives and holding loaded weapons in the faces of handcuffed patients. All of this has been documented why is still happening?

  • Jeff

    This garbage just happened to me in AZ. I have a medical card, and I just got done lifting weights and running 3 miles. After a 1.5 mile walk with my dog. I hadn't toked since the previous day. Now, I'm facing a DUI. I have some fat cells, been toking every day for years and I know my blood tests would show I have THC in my system. I'm pretty screwed here. I'm facing a DUI while I was stone-cold sober. I hadn't toked in more than 24 hours. When I do smoke, I don't feel "high" after about an hour. I also blew a 0.00. Maybe they thought they could get me with an alcohol DUI too.

  • Xuven

    You can be arrested for DUI just because a cop thinks you are impaired … Even if all test come back negative you can still be charged with DUI if the cop still says that you are impaired and won't back down from hi story, because some cops do have a serious God complex……no wait if they ever met God they would tell him to get out of their chair.

    • Xuven

      Not always as I said you can be taken to jail and then to trial, with all the expenses that go with it if a cop simply said I believe the subject was impaired… The cops word can carry more or at least equal weight of field and blood test. If you get pulled over by the good cops you are ok….but if it is one of few that have a god complex then you are in trouble … I wouldn't give blood in the field either…. Or my be I would…then you may be able to contest the chain of evidence if you go to trial

  • Chris

    Sue them and make sure that officer is retrained. He made that up! Green tongue after smoking pot? What a load of crap and what kind of scientific method did this scientist police officer use to determine he wasn't eating a green piece of candy?

    King County law enforcement is a damn joke! Put them in circus outfits it would fit the job they are doing better.

  • mbaileyh

    The story made it sound like the cop tried to get him to agree to the blood draw before the arrest. It could be lazy reporting, but if not, that's pretty illegal. The blood test is an evidence gathering practice for AFTER an arrest is made. Its like cops searching your house before getting an arrest warrant. Hope for that guys sake this story is right, then he has a real case.

  • jeff

    Smoking tobacco is bad 25 feet from a public and in private businesses. Smoking pot and driving is alright. Smoke um if you got um! Pot Heads rule!

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