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True story from 2005:

The ATF has nothing on me.

I once ran my very own drug bust.

It happened back in college. I share it here today because I’d like to illustrate just what an ordinary Sunday can become when you hang around with me.

Nickie*, my roommate in college was a tall blond ballet dancer. She was the best roommate I could imagine having. We didn’t love many of the same foods, so we didn’t have to worry about eating each other’s groceries. She and I both worked, so we weren’t around enough to get under each other’s skin. And, perhaps most importantly, we both shared a similar sense of humor and tended to enjoy getting into whatever trouble we could find. Sometimes, though, the trouble found us.

On this particular Sunday, Nickie and I being the good Catholic girls we were, had walked to the local parish for Sunday morning mass. We had to walk across campus to get there, but it was a lovely spring morning and we decided it would be good exercise. Of course, our walks were always twice the exercise for me as they were for her because for each of my two steps, she only had to take one. She was a full foot taller than I, and she was mostly made of legs. She walked with a steady “dancer-like” gait. Imagine a duck trying to keep pace with a gazelle. That’s what we looked like as we walked through the campus. Sometimes she would notice I was having trouble keeping up and she would slow down, but usually, I just had to attempt to look cool while speed walking and try not to lose my breath.

After mass, we started the trek back to our apartment. As we entered the campus, however, Nickie stopped. She seemed to be looking at something on the ground. I looked at it too. There were three small plastic sandwich bags tied in knots, with what appeared to be some sort of green organic material inside. Each one was exactly the same measured size. We had stumbled upon someone’s marijuana! Apparently someone had inadvertently dropped the bags as they walked. A drug dealer! On my campus!

In college, I was a “Resident Advisor” or RA. As an RA, it was my job to enforce policies and be a resource for residents in my apartment building. I took my job very seriously. So, I saw this as an opportunity to do my duty as an RA and get some drugs off the streets where they might end up in the hands of some poor easily influenced freshman. The freshman would smoke the weed and become addicted to it. Then, the weed would act as a “gateway drug” to introduce the freshman to harder drugs, like meth, and crack, and then heroin. Finally, by the student’s senior year, he would end up dropping out of college robbing houses to pay for his addiction by day and sleeping in a dumpster by night. I could not let this happen. Yes, it was my noble duty to take care of this immediately.

I picked up the drugs and Nickie made sure there were no more bags lying around.

“I have to report these to the public safety officers,” I explained to Nickie.

“It smells strong,” she observed. I agreed, and, not wanting to get the smell on my nice Sunday clothing, I decided to keep the bags out of my pocket, electing instead to hold them in my palm, with my arm outstretched in front of me like an offering.

We walked this way, gazelle and duck, for a few moments in silence before Nickie asked me what I think was probably the smartest question either of us had come up with that day.

“Hey, Annie? What would happen if we were to be stopped by a cop or public safety officer on our way back home?” she asked.

“We would just tell them we were walking home from church and we found this weed. So we picked it up and are now on our way to go file a report with public safety,” I replied. When the explanation first came out of my mouth, it seemed completely logical. However, merely seconds after completing that thought I realized what I had just said.

“Walking home from church, eh?” the officer would say with a smirk. “You couldn’t come up with a better story than that? Put your hands behind your back. You are under arrest.”

As we realized that this was indeed an unfortunate possibility, we both started jogging back to the apartment, then running. My arm was still outstretched awkwardly in front of me.

Once we were safely inside, I placed the little bags of weed into my own “evidence bag” a larger, zipper style plastic food storage bag. Hey, I didn’t want the apartment to smell like a head shop.

Next, I called public safety. It was important that I made sure this was reported and turned in to the proper authorities.

“Public safety,” the operator said.

“Yes, hello. My name is Annie and I am the RA for building 5. I would like to report that I found some marijuana on the sidewalk on my way home from church this morning. I would like to turn it in to public safety so that you can make an official report.”

“Um, ok… So you found some weed and you want us to pick it up?”

“Well, you know, I figured you would need to make an official report.”

“Uh…yeah, sure. Ok, we will send an officer over.”

At this point I decided that since there was no protocol for an incident like this, I’d better call my supervisor to let her know what had happened. (And maybe earn some extra points for being such a proactive and responsible RA even on my day off.)

“Hello, Denmark*? This is Annie,” and I proceeded to relate the entire story of that morning.

“So, you have the marijuana in your apartment now?” Denmark asked.

“Yep, and public safety is on the way,” I added.

“So, basically, what you are telling me is that you are now in possession of a controlled substance,” she said. “You brought drugs back to your apartment and they are now in your possession.”

Weeelll…yes. But only until public safety gets here,” I said meekly, only at this point beginning to understand the stupidity of the act which just moments ago seemed so noble it would earn me extra credit as a responsible citizen and outstanding RA.

“Annie, get the drugs out of your apartment right now. We’ll talk about it tomorrow,” said Denmark before hanging up.

Public safety came to pick up the evidence. I’m not sure if an official report was ever filed because the officers seemed really excited to take possession of the bag and I have a suspicion that it may have been consumed by the very individuals who had sworn to serve and protect the campus. I can’t ever be sure.

Even though I may have committed a felony by doing so, I was able to get some dangerous drugs off the streets.

And that is the story of my Sunday morning drug bust.

*I did not use real names.

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