A Missouri man with stage 4 pancreatic cancer was visited in hospital by multiple police officers who searched his possessions for marijuana.
Talk about ‘To Protect and To Serve’.
Nolan Sousley posted a video of the encounter to Facebook on Wednesday (March 6) in which a police officer argues with the dying man about possession of the drug while another roots through his belongings, Newsweek reports.
The officer, later identified as being from the Bolivar police department, said:
If we find marijuana we’ll give you a citation, we’re not taking you down to the county jail.
Officers showed up to the hospital after they said they received a call from someone who said they could smell weed coming from Sousley’s room. Sousley said that was impossible because he never smokes or uses ground-up plants. He said he used capsules with THC oils.
In the overly confrontational scene considering the circumstances, Sousley told the officers, ‘It’s the only choice I got to live, man.’ He added, ‘We’re Americans. I was born here, it’s my right to live.’
A doctor entered the room and an officer informed her of the situation. An officer said Sousley had a bag they hadn’t yet searched.
The dying man explained he’d already shown the officer the plastic bag containing the THC capsules, but the police officer requested to search the entire bag. Sousley explained the bag was filled with medication and would not allow the police to ‘dig through that’.
It has my final-day things in there, and nobody’s gonna dig in it. It’s my stuff.
Sousley eventually allowed an officer to search the bag, and the officers didn’t find any marijuana.
Newsweek reached out for comment from the Bolivar police department and to Sousley but did not receive response when the article was published.
Citizens Memorial Hospital told Newsweek it could not comment on any specific treatment or situation, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The hospital added:
It is also our policy to call appropriate law enforcement any time hospital personnel see or reasonably suspect illegal drug use in patient rooms or otherwise on campus.
In November, Missouri voters approved Amendment 2, which permits state-licensed physicians to recommend marijuana for medical purposes to patients. However, as of March 8 Missourians could not legally possess medical marijuana.
Sousley mentioned the ongoing approval of the amendment in the confrontation with the police officers.
I don’t have time to wait for that. Tell me what you’d do.
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