Miamians Throw "Medical Marijuana Party" With 50 Pounds of Weed, Get Arrested

Most sensible Americans these days believe in ending the War on Drugs. The facts are clear that low-level drug arrests ruin lives and tear families apart. Some day, selling weed in Florida will no longer feed thousands of new prisoners into the state's broken criminal justice system.

But that day has not yet come, and until ganja is truly legal in the Sunshine State, it's not a great idea to throw a gigantic, open-air "medical marijuana" celebration fueled by 50 pounds of weed. That's exactly what a group of Miamians attempted to do this past weekend by throwing what sounds like among the greatest stoner sessions in human history — only to get busted in a house that sat a mere six blocks from Miami Police headquarters.

At roughly 7 p.m. yesterday, MPD responded to a call at 520 W. Flagler St., where a few cars had been parked illegally and a handful of folks were loitering around the building, a caller said. The cops parked and asked to speak to whomever was running the event. A 32-year-old named Leandro Arriaga then walked up to the officers and said the party was his.

Arriaga then allegedly "said it was an event opened to the public in regards to the Amendment 2 push for marijuana." Amendment 2 passed in November, but we'll excuse some stoners for perhaps forgetting a few details.

Just then, however, police said a wall of pot stink hit them like a biblical tidal wave, and the cops realized the building was full of tables with loose marijuana sitting everywhere. The cops also noticed the partygoers selling "items," presumably some kind of drug paraphernalia.

"At this point in time, several patrons inside observed the police and proceeded to flee out the rear door," the report says. Once folks started to run, the cops called in a narcotics investigation unit.

When those agents arrived, they read Arriaga his rights and then found out that his lease had expired Saturday — which meant Arriaga had thrown a pot bash in a house that wasn't even his.

The cops then called the landlord, who gave them consent to enter the home, and discovered a smorgasbord of weed-smoking apparatuses, including "several tables with glass smoking apparatuses containing suspected THC residue," as well as loose pot sitting in jars, THC wax for dabbing, "suspected edible cookies and candies," and "suspected synthetic forms of unknown substances."

A total of 51.1 pounds of pot was recovered from the house.

The architects behind Amendment 2 pushed the bill to help patients with ailments such as chronic pain, cancer, and AIDS get help for illnesses.

But give Miamians a reason to party, and they'll always take it.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.