Fascist Policing: Cops Have Lost The Morel High Ground

PINAC recently posted a story about entirely routine police abuse of authority:

“We let them in and as soon as the police officer walked in he asked us why we were eating mushrooms and posting about it online,” the man posted.

…John Garrison of Darlington, Maryland said he tried to explain to the cop Morel mushrooms are a “native choice edible mushroom similar to truffles.” “He wasn’t convinced,” Garrison recalled ….

“I figured a police officer would know what illegal drugs look like.”

Eventually, a second cop showed up and Garrison showed her the Morels he’d dug from the trash and she immediately identified it as a Morel. [Capitalization of “morel” in the original – cd]

People who have read me for long enough know that I’m very forgiving of ignorance: I’m ignorant of the vast, vast, vast majority of human knowledge, and human knowledge is only the tiniest fraction of all possible knowledge. But I’m very hard on the arrogant ignorance of those who will not listen to new information, who always assume they know more even when they quite obviously know less.

Cops trolling through facebook and trying to arrest people should know more about illegal substances than this cop obviously does based on stupid, arrogant ignorance that equated this:

Several small, smooth-capped and sharp-peaked mushrooms that naturally contain psilocybin


with this:

Mushroom with cap taller than wide, but with many ridges dividing the the mushroom cap into a chaos of multiple indentations called “cells”. Thanks to Allrecipes.com for the image.

What’s worse is that the cop was politely asked to leave. While a cop can search without a warrant when exigent circumstances exist (not true in this case) or when given consent (as in this case), once consent is withdrawn, a new calculation must be made: unless there is new evidence that has been discovered along the way that points to still more evidence not yet uncovered, then the cop is in the same position as before the search: if that search required a warrant or consent because no exigent circumstances existed, then the withdrawal of consent means that a warrant is required to continue and the cop must leave.

These folks were white and very, very tolerant or this might have ended much worse. But here’s the thing: the supervisors of this cop must not be afraid of removing the cop from at least some duties if this is how he uses his authority. Unfortunately, when it doesn’t involve killing, maiming, or permanently injuring someone, cops’ supervisors tend toward forgiveness and forgetting. When there is permanent injury or death, supervisors tend to feel under siege and respond by lionizing officers and denying any possibility of error.

Accountability for mistreatment of the public is rarely, if ever, a priority for supervisors in police forces.


  1. kestrel says

    I love the title. I’m a very keen amateur mycologist and thought it was a typo. I should have known better!

    Also, Christ of the Andes. WTF, cops? Do we now have to worry what’s being served for dinner?

  2. blf says

    I also assumed, at first, the title was a Tpyos offering.


    It’s not at all the same sort of thing, but the story in OP remains me of an incident in Bath, England, last century. There was a healthy, albeit small, garden of pot plants — in the planter box outside the main police station. Judging by the size(?) of the plants, it had gone unnoticed (at least by the police) for some time.

  3. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I love the title.

    I also assumed, at first, the title was a Tpyos offering.

    I do aim to please.

    There was a healthy, albeit small, garden of pot plants — in the planter box outside the main police station.

    Classic. I’ll have to remember that one.

  4. invivoMark says

    How does the saying go? “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

    And regarding your title: God. Dammit.

  5. jrkrideau says

    @ 2 blf
    This reminds me of my father’s story. The local Catholic church had probably 3-4 acres of land around it. Someone mentioned to the pastor that there was a great patch of (presumably wild?) marijuana growing in one corner of the property.

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