Okaloosa County, FL — In the fall of 2016, voters in Florida approved the sale of medical marijuana statewide. But if anyone thinks that Florida law enforcement is going to get soft on marijuana as a result, they might need to think again. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office paraded their latest drug bust on their Facebook page this week. They found Kayla Martin, 26, to be in possession of four melted gummy bears and two lollipops, arrested her, and charged her, not only with possession but with intent to distribute. The six tiny pieces of THC-laced candy were photographed, along with the perpetrator, and uploaded to the department’s FB page.
A woman who tried to sell candies laced with the marijuana extract THC was arrested today by Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
26-year old Kayla Margaret Martin of Miles Martin Road in DeFuniak Springs is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of a county park.
A beachgoer complained to OCSO deputies after she says Martin approached her around one p.m. and tried to sell her the edibles while at the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. Deputies located two lollipops and four gummy bears in Martin’s bag. The gummy bears had melted due to the heat.
According to the FB post, the young lady was apparently trying to sell her wares on the beach on Okaloosa Island. After one person reportedly complained about her attempts to sell her homemade edibles, the police swooped in to arrest the now accused drug trafficker.
But the backlash against the police department was immediate. Jordan Ford wrote, “Wow. Good job getting this dangerous individual off the street. TWO lollipops. Man. I can sleep better tonight.” The American Libertarian Army confronted the department with one simple question, “Why don’t you catch someone with a drug that can actually harm someone? Are you afraid of going after the drugs that actually bring violence?”
As the Free Thought Project has been documenting for years, the war on drugs keeps catching enterprising entrepreneurs like Martin, who understand the medicinal value of cannabis and attempt to capitalize on its benefits to human health. Cannabis has been demonstrated to serve as an effective anti-anxiety, painkiller, antidepressant, antiepileptic, anti-cancer drug, and works well for veterans suffering from PTSD. Why police around the country continue to pursue low-level drug offenders such as they allege Martin to be, smacks in the face of current research, legislative movements, common sense and human dignity.
While Okaloosa County parades Martin and her wares on the internet (they probably let the gummy bears melt so they appear more like heroin in the pictures), the backlog of unprocessed rape kits continues to grow. All across the country, including Florida, police have refused to do their jobs and process rape kits; the medical evidence collection kits hospitals collect to help to convict alleged rapists.
In Florida, they’re called “Sexual Assault Kits” or “SAKs.” Instead of using the money to process more SAKs, the State of Florida allocated 300,000 dollars to study the phenomena of unprocessed SAKs sitting in evidence lockers all across the state.
What the research team at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found, after investigating the how the state’s law enforcement agencies handle their SAKs, may be shocking to some. “Responding agencies indicated there were approximately 13,435 unsubmitted SAKs within their inventories and approximately 9,484 of them should be submitted,” they concluded. In other words, there are nearly 10,000 women in Florida who are still waiting for justice in their rape cases, as their rape kits remain unprocessed.
Consider the dichotomy at work. Police praise themselves for busting a cannabis advocate with six pieces of candy, yet store their SAKs away to be processed when they get around to it. Some could contend, with reason, police departments all across Florida are guilty of serious dereliction of duty, preferring to arrest cannabis advocates in place of prosecuting rapists, some of whom may be serial rapists.