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South Carolina Police Chief Threatens Facebook User After Pro-Marijuana Comment


It’s been a wild week for police officers and marijuana comments on Facebook. I recently wrote about a Missouri police officer that inferred marijuana activists are ‘stupid welfare-sucking potheads who probably can’t read.’ If that wasn’t ridiculous enough, it appears now that a police chief in South Carolina issued a threat to a Facebook user because he suggested the police focus on real crime.

According to Raw Story:

A South Carolina police chief threatened a resident with possible arrest Thursday for making pro-legalization comments about marijuana in a Facebook post about a drug suspect’s arrest. Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago announced on the Facebook page for the Columbia Police Department that officers had seized about $40,000 in marijuana from an apartment during a drug investigation.

Below is the screen shot of the Facebook post by the police, as well as the screen shot of the comment that resulted in the threat:

facebook police threat marijuana

via popehat.com


What is sad to me is not only did the police feel that this comment was appropriate, but it looks like five of their friends agree based upon the number of ‘likes’ the comment received. Brandon Whitmer didn’t say, ‘hey cops, I’m participating in criminal behavior.’ He was making a public policy statement suggesting that public resources would be better spent going after violent criminals instead of harmless marijuana consumers. The response by the police station was very unprofessional, and is clearly trying to intimidate Mr. Whitmer into giving up his First Amendment right to speak freely.

I hope the ACLU in South Carolina is aware of this attempt by a public employee to squash the rights of a South Carolina citizen. There is simply no excuse for this. If you would like to send a message to the police station from this article, here is their Facebook, and their ‘contact us’ page from their website. If you look at the ‘contact us’ page, you will see the police chief’s phone number located at the top. And if the police chief just so happens to come across this article – THREATEN ME ALL YOU WANT. THREATS LIKE THAT MIGHT FLY IN SOUTH CAROLINA, BUT I’M IN OREGON, AND WE DON’T TAKE THAT CRAP!


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. John Publinski on


    Richland County Sheriff’s deputies

    arrested a Columbia police officer for allegedly driving under the
    influence early Saturday morning.

    Leon Lott said Steven Joshua White, 30, was arrested around 3:45 a.m. at the intersection of Huger and Whaley Streets.

    said the Richland
    County Sheriff’s
    Department’s Traffic Safety Unit saw a green GMC driving
    erratically and conducted a traffic stop. Deputies said White had an
    open container and was driving under the influence of alcohol.

    The sheriff said White produced his
    driver’s license, proof of insurance and City of Columbia Police Department identification
    during the traffic stop.

    White was transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention

    A spokesperson for the Columbia Police Department said White has been
    suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation

  2. Well? Are you gonna explain the story BEHIND the nickname? Cuz my imagination can’t come up with one.

  3. Columbia Police Department has deleted the Marijuana bust thread from their facebook page where over a thousand people posted protests yesterday concerning the police chief’s threat(s).

  4. You’re right, but you’re a little ahead of yourself. The issue of probable cause is not applied to this story (yet?). But above the probable cause issue, the police officer made a public threat. He did a stop and frisk, internet style. Claiming the police had a “reasonable” suspicion that the young man was a cannabis user because of his post. Sure, you can look at it like the officer was joking around or something, but all we have are his words, not his expression or tone of voice or… If I were Brandon, I would feel threatened. Even if I hadn’t broken the law. What if my friends do and they get in trouble with the police because of my post?

  5. Opinions are not grounds for reasonable suspicion. Nor is a bumper sticker, tee-shirt or political affiliation. These issues have long since been settled by the courts. IF the acting Chief were to use those comments as probable cause for search and charges, it would be promptly dismissed. Even if investigators DID find a controlled substance. It is a shame that none of the stories covering this commenting issue have expressed the Un-Constitutional nature of the acting Chief’s assertions.

  6. Weed will never be free, dear. And this police officer should be fired, no doubt. Employees have been fired for much less. But I sure don’t want any police officer mad at me…

  7. if the chief has such a mentality I can only imagine what he allows his officers to get away with, police need to recognize the law also applies to THEM. I also can hardly blame him for his frustration in this situation, nobody want to be the fool.

  8. Oh, you don’t have to be nice. I’ll keep trying to do that. :) Considering the level of my animosity towards the police, you think it’s easy being nice all the time? Sheesh. Educating someone is not about being nice. But you can’t educate someone who isn’t willing to listen. And being civil isn’t a sign of weakness. Actually, it’s a sign of strength. Well, at least for me. Thanks for listening.

  9. Page is back up. Still some unhappy people posting :) Did they erase a bunch of them and reload the page? Seems they are still getting bombarded. It’s so awesome to see people come together and fight against these individuals who want to ignore the constitution.

  10. Columbia Police department’s Facebook page was taken down at 10:30am 11-02-2013. The whole page was flooded with protests to what was said. The page went dark while I was browsing it and refreshing the page to read new posts.

  11. Sometimes being nice is no longer an option especially when fascistic drug warriors that are perpetrating a crime against humanity like cannabis prohibition take kindness as a sign of weakness. I don’t send thank you notes to persecutors

  12. On the police facebook page they said it was almost 8 pounds of weed estimated at $5,000 a pound.

  13. It appears that the Columbia PD is considerably overstaffed if they have time to waste posting on Facebook. They’ve only confirmed Mr. Whitmer’s point.

  14. Well said friend after the weed is free we still have to live and work with these guys education not defamation after the law is changed the police will be your protection better having them onside from the first

  15. If the cops say $40,000 in a press release that means real street value is around $20,000- $30,000. The police always bump it up to the high end of the scale.

  16. Everyone has a right to be heard. However, no one has to listen. As long as you shout and call names, who are the types of people that are going to listen? Just think about it, please.

  17. A higher calling Saint Hippy ! on

    Hey RED NECK THUG BEHIND A BADGE , your a real piece of work speaking of work ‘ Why the hell hasn’t your Mayor & or Governor Fired your sorry onik onik self ‘ so you are truly that freakin stupid aren’t you’ to begin with your not a history buff are you how about we the people and our RIGHTS as hard working citizens who just happen to like and prefer smoking a substance that is far better in oh so many ways , un like your self boozing it up and driving thinking your above the law since you are supposed to be serving to protect and up hold the RIGHTS of all of your citizens of your community to say what ever the hell we please since we are afforded the RIGHTS TO FREE SPEACH in these UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ! and that what the Mr. Whitmer stated about how you should be doing real work by hunting down REAL CRIMINALS instead of hard working people who for various reasons smoke a little POT and who of which aren’t out committing serious crimes , but in the end you are the farthest person in your community who should be chief let alone any form of a cop while it is very obvious are nothing short of a THUG BEHIND A BADGE ” that should be fired. oh yes’ LET”S GO GET STONED !!

  18. Okay, thanks, but wasn’t looking for specifics, just something I can mentally picture. You know, a whole room full?

  19. Always great to see free nation at work. In my country the police chief is an criminal after posting such msg. Abuse of power,harasment threat , abuse of taxpayers money.

  20. girlonceinawhilepuffs on

    This is true and more evidence of how many pple are in the dark about how marijuana will soon be referred to in the same instance as alcohol and tobacco nationally..

  21. Johnny, I read every thing that happens on this page because I’m a supporter of medical marijuana here in sc. I’ve been involved in normal before and to see these things happen here in sc tells me that this will be the last state to legalize it. I only know of 1 person in sc who has tried to change our bill in the house. Since the 1970’s medical marijuana has been legal here in sc. But dhec is suppose to supply us with it, but the way the bill is written, they haven’t ever been implemented. No one here seems to care but a small small group of supporters. Even when Dr Gupta came a couple of weeks ago to talk in Greenville there was no mention of marijuanas policies. Just scared people. I abide by the law here until it is changes. I wish and hope that one day we see mm here in sc as a start.

  22. Sheriff Goobergrabber on

    The police in columbia are comprised of some good ole carolina boys and some reasonable people also. Its a shame that the officer in question had such poor judgement and will surely be fired.

  23. Wow. That’s a blatant, inarguable violation of the 1st Amendment.
    Whoever posted that bonehead response just got every cop in that entire station FIRED.

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