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August 2005
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Ditch Judge

OK, this is pretty funny. Here’s a case where it seems there was sufficient probable cause (and a driver that shouldn’t be on the road), despite an attempt by the defense to claim that there wasn’t a competent expert to identify the marijuana at the arrest.
But get this statement from Watertown City Court Judge James C. Harberson Jr.:

“This court finds that considering the rampant use of marijuana in all levels of society as a result of an unrelenting effort of the ‘Woodstock’ generation’s proselytizing the legalization of this ‘ditch weed’ – as it was historically known in the South – through the media, the educational institutions and open public use, the average lay witness can be said to be competent to identify marijuana and its effects,” Judge Harberson said in his decision.

Priceless.
Now as far as I’m aware (at least back to my High School days in the 70’s), ‘ditch weed’ has always meant very low grade marijuana — named for the stuff that grew wild everywhere in the ditches.
Unless there’s some part of the South that historically called all marijuana ‘ditch weed’ (and let me know if that’s the case), then it appears that us Woodstock generation proselytizers haven’t done a good enough job to make even the judge competent to “identify marijuana and its effects.”

[Thanks to Larry]

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