Santa Claus arrested for distributing cannabis in Florida
U.S. Florida police arrested 67-year-old St. Petersburg resident Richard Spurrier, who distributed marijuana for free on Catholic Christmas Eve.
Santa Claus faces up to five years in prison
On December 22, at about 11:00 pm local time, the police received a message saying that an unknown man was giving cannabis to passers-by on Second Street in St. Petersburg. Officers arrived at the scene and searched the suspect. 45 grams of marijuana, a glass tube and a digital scale with traces of cannabis, as well as a sword hidden in a cane, were seized from Spurrier’s backpack.
The press service of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office said that Richard was charged with two crimes:
- storage of hemp for the purpose of marketing;
- storage of marijuana smoking accessories.
For the first violation, a penalty of imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to $ 5,000 are provided. For the second – they can be put in jail for one year and fined up to $ 1,000.
Recreational cannabis banned in Florida
In 2016, Florida legislators passed a legal act on the legalization of medical cannabis, but recreational cannabis remained banned. Marijuana can be obtained by prescription in licensed stores. Currently, 300,000 state residents are registered in the drug hemp access program.
Hemp Santa Claus from California
The first Santa Claus to distribute cannabis before Christmas is considered to be 57-year-old California resident Randy Lange. In 2015, he went to the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant dressed as Santa Claus, drank a couple of glasses of beer and began to give visitors and staff of the restaurant wrapped marijuana wrapped in napkins, saying: “I am Santa and I have a present for you.”
However, the guests and employees of the cafe did not appreciate the good gesture of Lange and called the police. The security forces searched Santa Claus and found 907 grams of marijuana with him. According to Sergeant Nicholas Borges, the detainee said he likes to give marijuana free of charge. Randy was arrested on charges of selling cannabis. Information about the trial was not published, so we were unable to find out how the California Santa Claus was punished.