One of the passers-by had not taken kindly to the holiday treats and quickly notified police.
(TMU) — A 67-year-old man was arrested Saturday in St. Petersburg, Florida, after police were informed that he had been handing out marijuana to passers-by “because it was Christmas,” authorities said.
Richard Ellis Spurrier was stopped by police at 11:30 p.m. in downtown St. Petersburg just as he was dispensing the leafy green treats to people, according to police.
One of the passers-by had apparently not taken kindly to the holiday treats and quickly notified officers of Spurrier’s gift-giving, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
Witness Shannon Robinson told BayNews9:
“Yeah, he was like, ‘Merry Christmas, merry Christmas,’ and … the cop came right up behind him and was like, ‘What are you doing?’”
When officers approached the man, they noticed that he had bits of marijuana flower hanging from his shirt sleeve. When police searched Spurrier’s backpack, they found 45 grams or roughly an ounce and a half of marijuana, a purple glass pipe, and a black digital scale. Spurrier also had a hidden sword in his cane.
Spurrier credited his generosity to the holiday spirit, telling the police that he had been handing out cannabis “because it was Christmas,” according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Spurrier was released from jail the very next day on his own recognizance, officials said.
While Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott repealed a medical marijuana ban in the state in 2018, recreational use of marijuana still remains prohibited under state law.