TN cops in body armor tell old woman to remove marijuana bumper sticker (was a buckeye leaf)

Police in Tennessee, in a black SUV and in full body armor, pulled over an elderly couple because they had a marijuana (or so the cops thought) bumper sticker on their car.  In fact it was a buckeye leaf – the couple are Ohio State Buckeye fans.  The cops then ordered the couple to remove the bumper sticker, even though the woman had already explained it was a buckeye, not marijuana.

Good grief. I’m not sure what’s the most ridiculous part of this recent episode.

Was it the person who phoned in the dangerous car sticker that slightly resembles a marijuana leaf?  The cops insinuated that it was another cop who called it in.

Or perhaps the idiotic Tennessee cops that pulled over the elderly couple with armor-covered police in black vans simply because they might have had a marijuana leaf sticker on their car?  Although, perhaps the most ridiculous part is the cop, after learning that it’s a buckeye leaf common to Ohio State fans, still ordered the woman to remove the sticker. (Not that it’s entirely clear that, even if it were a marijuana sticker, a cop could make you remove it from your car.)

Now, let’s take a look at both marijuana and buckeye.

First, marijuana:

Marijuana

Marijuana via Shutterstock

Next, buckeye:

Buckeye leaf via shutterstock

Buckeye leaf via shutterstock

In the Tennessee cops’ defense, I guess they both are leaves.

Here is some of the fan paraphernalia from Ohio State’s shop with the infamous “marijuana” leaves. This took all of 30 seconds to find and confirm.

Ohio State buckeye leaf Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 7.35.51 PM

Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 7.34.31 PM

This is just crazy.

It takes a special kind of stupid to think a major drug-running gang trafficking in marijuana would be so stupid as to put marijuana stickers on their car, just so everyone knows they’re doing it.

But then again, Tennesse is the same state where:

It’s bad enough that far too many states still spend far too much time focusing on marijuana, but this is too much. Are these people really responsible for maintaining law and order? If only the Tennessee police weren’t serious when they did this.

I love the woman’s comment after the fact:

“It’s just amazing they would be that dumb,” Bonnie Jonas-Boggioni said.

It’s not amazing.  It’s Tennessee.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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