Man busted after calling 911 to ask about growing pot

Robert Michelson, 21, of Farmington, Connecticut, called 911 to inquire about the possible legal consequences of growing a marijuana plant. He's now been charged with marijuana possession and "other crimes," according to the AP:
Farmington police say a dispatcher told... Michelson on Thursday night that he could get arrested for growing pot, and Michelson said thank you and hung up.

Officers went to Michelson's house and seized a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Michelson has admitted he bought seeds and equipment for growing.

"Conn. Man Asks Cops About Growing Pot, Is Arrested"


  1. Good Citizens don’t need to ask about laws as they lead Upright Lives. Therefore someone asking about the law is probably engaged in CRIMETHINK. Why else would they ask about it unless they were planning to circumvent it?

  2. This makes me want to call the police and ask them a bunch of hypothetical questions about stuff I’m not actually doing, and then sue the shit out of them when they break my door down.

  3. Transcript of actual 911 call:

    Dispatcher: 911, What’s the location of your emergency?
    Caller: Well, let’s not get into that yet. I have a question.

    Dispatcher: Is this an emergency sir?
    Caller: Depends…um, not really.

    Dispatcher: If it’s not an emergency, you don’t call 911 sir.
    Caller: I have a legal question.

    Dispatcher: Well, it’s not…is this an emergency?
    Caller: I don’t know what that means.

    Dispatcher: Is it life-threatening, or an active crime in progress?
    Caller: Crime in progress, possibly.

    Dispatcher: What’s going on?
    Caller: I was just growing some marijuana. I was just wondering what the, how much, you know, trouble you get into for one plant.

    Dispatcher: You’re growing marijuana and you want to know how…depends on how big the plant is.
    Caller: It’s only a seedling.

    Dispatcher: Well, it’s possession.
    Caller: Okay.

    Dispatcher: You can get pinched for a roach in a car.
    Caller: Okay. (pause) Alright, thanks for the info.

    Dispatcher: You’re welcome.
    Caller: Goodbye.

    “Officers were able to trace the call back to a house at 192 Waterville Road, where they found 21-year-old Robert Michelson home at the time.”

    The report goes on to say: ‘Michelson was released on bond and left the police station, but not before giving the dispatchers two middle fingers, presumably for doing such a good job.’

    [Found on fark]

  4. People… it has been said before and needs to be said again… DONT TALK TO POLICE. They exist for the singular purpose to arrest people. If you don’t need someone arrested, don’t talk to them. They care nothing for justice. This is a great example. Someone was dumb enough to ask the police to explain local laws, and the police promptly used someone trying to even begin to understand the literally countless laws to go bust him for one. The fact that the crime in question has no victim means nothing to these people.

    Unless you are trying to get someone arrested, seriously, don’t talk to police… and even then, be wearying. We pay lawyers vast piles of money to navigate the legal system for us because it is brutally designed to eat normal humans alive. Remember, the us has the highest incarceration rate in the workd. It isn’t because the us has the most criminals. It is because the system hates you and wants to eat you, regardless of your guilt or innocents

    1. How exactly would you “weary” them? I think you mean “be wary” or perhaps “beware”. Good advice, tho – don’t talk to cops unless absolutely necessary, and let them initiate first contact.

    2. The guy was an idiot who asked a 911 dispatcher a suspiciously specific question (“a Connecticut man called 911 to ask a dispatcher how much trouble he could get into by growing one marijuana plant”) after breaking the law (possessing the stuff). Uhhhh… yeah, of course the police is going to arrest him.

      I seriously don’t get your post. Are you saying that the police arresting this guy for breaking a law is some sort of injustice? Or that possessing and growing marijuana should not be illegal?

      What do you expect the police to do if you’re against them enforcing the law in its current form? I’m no legal expert, but I’m kinda certain that that is their job.

      I agree with your base point re: talking to the police, but in my opinion, this is a really bad case to make this point with.

      1. Until listening to the call, I thought it was going to be some kind of protest stunt… purposefully getting arrested for the absolute minimum cause. After listening to it, I have to wonder if the guy has the mental capacity to stand trial.

    3. Police are paid to be suspicious, but if you are respectful of their authority, they are generally respectful of your liberty. ymmv, especially if you’re an asshole.

      1. >>Police are paid to be suspicious, but if you are respectful of their authority, they are generally respectful of your liberty. ymmv, especially if you’re an asshole.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The problem with dealing with the police is that there is always an ass hole involved in every thing that officer does.

        I’ve been raided for a “cannabis farm”. My flatmate started seeing a new boyfriend and his jealous ex reported us for growing pot. We weren’t growing any pot, if we were they might of left without trashing every room, breaking a bed, a mirror, a set of drawers, my flatmates vibrator, the catches on my piano, the toilet cistern and just generally being ass holes.

        We weren’t aloud to get dressed (they woke us) for 45 minutes, while ~15 officers smashed our house around us, apparently they can’t bring you clothes from your wardrobe until a sniffer dog has been through. When they give you the clothes they’ll still pat you down AGAIN. No officer wore badges or numbers, they all refused to identify themselves.

        Apparently it was our own fault “for living in a suspicious area”.

        Moral of the story: If you want a revenge attack then the police are by far the best people to call.

        >>Well, I’ve also found they give good driving and walking directions, make good restaurant recommendations,

        I’m white, middle class and university educated: DON’T SPEAK TO THE POLICE. EVER.

        “Which way is it into town?”
        “This is a suspicious area and I’m going to have to search you”
        “What?! I just-”
        “He’s resisting!!!”

        And some people will think the above is a joke.

    4. I heartily agree and suggest everyone watch this-
      “ACLU – BUSTED”

      I saw this video shortly after I read EFF’s guide to the 4th amendment. The two combined started me on my journey of understanding and fighting for civil and constitutional rights.

      This is a great one too – lots of insight about how screwed you are if a cop wants to use your words against you.
      “Don’t talk to the cops”

    5. Let them with ears to hear….

      I once got busted growing after I called the cops to file a stolen car report and they forced entry. I beat it on a technicality (the 4th technicality, I believe).

      I was dumb, and didn’t keep my mouth completely shut. At one point, the exchange went like this:

      narc: “What do you think the job of the police in California is?”

      me: “What?”

      narc: “To take people to jail when they break the law.”

      me: “What about ‘to serve and protect?'”

      narc: “That too, that too….”

      Don’t say shit. Don’t cooperate at all. They tried to claim that because I cooperated later, I must have given consent at the door.

      Be civilized, sure, but don’t give a fucking inch.

  5. This is probably a good example of “go big or go home” too… the guy had one seedling?

    Some years ago a couple of friends of mine had 8 seedlings growing in cute little cups in a window sill as lark, visible from outside the window, in Maricopa County Arizona, proud home of the Nation’s Worst Sheriff.

    At the time, those two were 20% of the top ten in our tier-one law school class, yet I had to point out to them that each tiny, cute seedling counted as an entire ripe plant for felony cultivation, and that could possibly have an adverse impact on their character and fitness application for the Bar if someone walking by noticed the adorable little unmistakable sawtooth leaf clusters.

    It’s insane and absurd that it’s illegal, but man alive, at least be thoughtful about breaking even unreasonable laws.

    And don’t reinforce stereotypes about potheads, please!

    1. Once there a shelter for single parents on one side of my place and a family with kids on the other side and beside them a house which got ripped off to the tune of 3000 aussie bucks of jewellery. The two kids from the shelter jumped the fence into the front yard of the family man, paused for a moment, and hightailed it home. My neighbour told me later that he had a marijuana plant in his front yard purely because of his interest in horticulture but it was gone now because of the police poking around next door.
      So the next night the two kids walk out of the shelter and right past my bedroom window and start peering into my neighbours back yard. Of course the plant wasn’t there any more. It had been properly moved and in South Croydon, Victoria, Australia its practically a naturally occurring weed anyway.

  6. It’s entirely reasonable to charge him for tying up the 911 lines. But asking if growing marijuana is illegal should in no way qualify as probable cause, and those charges should be thrown out.

        1. I didn’t rtfa, but probable cause is NOT enough to enter a home.

          Again, probable cause is NOT enough to enter a home.

          Politely decline to admit them entry, and go flush yer stash.

      1. That reminds me. I’ve always wondered… there are… numerous celebrities who admit to smoking pot on a regular basis. Publicly.

        Isn’t that probable cause for the police to search them, or at least start an investigation that might lead that way? And if so, is there a reason it doesn’t happen, aside from “they’re famous”?

        I don’t like the laws, but they should apply to everyone or they should apply to no one.

    1. wnoise, Stonewalker

      Listen to the tape and then tell me it’s not probable cause. He admitted to a crime, and to the police of all people. I doubt there is much of a violation-of-liberty case to be made here. He just pulled a World’s Dumbest, that’s all.

      1. I’m clogging up the comments here because I didn’t RTFA. Yea, the dude gave them PC by admitting to the crime.

  7. He asked for it. The police have to check out every 911 call. That includes hang ups, people accidentally calling, and morons fucking around. Idiot.

  8. I really, really hate the anti-cannabis laws, and it’s an injustice that anyone gets arrested for possessing it; but this guy really does kinda deserve it. If you’re going to ask police for legal advice (generally a bad idea) make sure you’re not in the process of breaking the law. Seems like a fairly simple concept.

  9. Cps r pgs. Pot smokers are unconstitutionally discriminated against because they would rather use something natural than the disgustingly damaging drugs that drug companies sell or booze that also deteriorates the mind and body.

  10. People… it has been said before and needs to be said again… DONT TALK TO POLICE. They exist for the singular purpose to arrest people.

    Well, I’ve also found they give good driving and walking directions, make good restaurant recommendations, and do a good job of keeping people from blowing up New Year’s eve in Times Square, for example. But I can certainly agree with this: The purpose of the police is not to help you avoid law enforcement.

  11. I am so glad to know that the State of Connecticut has so few problems that this was the best possible use of taxpayer money. They must be so proud of “Connecticut’s Finest”, breaking this kind of case.

  12. There is this thing called a payphone. The name is misleading because you don’t have to pay for it when calling 911. Though he should at least know you don’t call 911 when its not an emergency.

    Sucks that he’ll now be disallowed entry into many countries because of his “dangerous past” when all the guy wanted to do was grow something and by doing so contribute to the US economy (via tax paid on growing gear & resources) instead of criminal organisations.

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