Medical marijuana: Papa John's delivery driver calls cops on legal patient over weed

pizza.jpeg
Not to be too stoner-cliché here, but I always thought Pizza Delivery Guy is pretty universally seen as a ganja-friendly career. I mean, I've had countless stoned drivers show up at my door and been tipping delivery guys with nugs for years. But maybe it's time to rethink that, at least when ordering from Papa John's.

It had been a long Friday working in front of the computer, and the last thing Rick Smith wanted to do was go back to work in the kitchen and make dinner. So, as a bazillion other people in this country do when they'e culinarily challenged, he ordered in.

papa johns ad.jpg
A Papa John's ad.
Smith says he logged back on to his computer and picked a pizza to be delivered from a nearby Papa John's on South Chambers, paying for both the pie and pre-tipping the driver online. He then sent his nine-year-old daughter upstairs to take a bath while they waited for the pizza to arrive.

Back downstairs, Smith -- a Colorado medical marijuana cardholder -- smoked a quick bowl and then sat down to play some video games. A few minutes later, the pizza guy showed up at his door with his 'za and a two-liter bottle of Sprite.

Not a half-hour later, Smith says he heard pounding at the door. "I immediately knew that it was the police knocking by the sound of it," Smith says. "I opened they door, and there was an Aurora Police officer."

Smith says the policeman explained that dispatch had received a call from a Papa John's pizza delivery driver saying there were small children around people smoking pot. The cop told Smith that the department policy is to check up on situations where children may be in danger.

Floored, Smith pulled out his medical card and explained to the police officer what had happened. He also pointed out that the driver had likely seen the children's playhouse in the driveway. Smith said the police officer went out to his cruiser to verify his red card, returning a few minutes later with a sorry.

"He realized it was a silly call and that it wasn't a big deal. That's what he said: 'This is not a big deal,'" Smith recalls. "He apologized for disturbing our dinner and left without even writing up an incident report.

"Anyway, after the officer leaves, I'm furious. I called Papa John's and complained to the general manager. She said that it is basically my word against his and said he had been driving for them for a long time."



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267 comments
JoeBlow
JoeBlow

the only real mistake here was the police not keeping the identity of the tipper anonymous.  If someone witnesses what they believe to be a crime, it is their civic duty to report it, and in a case like a drug that is used much more illegally that legally, you expect that if you asked, the person would lie as to whether they had a licence to use, because they don't want to be reported, so they'll try to convince others otherwise if they think there is a chance you might be.  Basic assumption becomes, if you ask, you will be lied to.  Since there are kids around (evidence being the dollhouse in the driveway) and the smoking is happening in an enclosed environment (where even if child is not present at the moment they could still get second hand smoke because the smoke is trapped), the appropriate thing for a good citizen, especially one who is worried about the effects on children, should take is to report the possible issue.  Keep in mind, the story reads that the driver arrived after the smoking was done, so the air from inside must have smelled of weed, that being the concern for the driver, that a child was most likely, (again, toys in driveway as evidence) in a house where the chance of receiving 2nd hand smoke was high (no pun intended).  Driver acted appropriately. 

Once it is reported, the officer has a duty to handle the matter in the best manner possible, and if it so happens the use is legal, then that should be it, issue over.  It was a misunderstanding due to lack of information.  No names should be involved UNLESS the people calling in specifically gave permission that their identity be disclosed.  Officer screwed up there, and turned this whole non-issue into a big hulla buloo that it became.  Customer overreacted.  Person with pistol permit gave a good example below on how this issue should be handled by the permit holder.  What was USUALLY illegal WAS legal, but someone isn't going to know that off hand and should not be held as they are in this story, and customer should have been more cool headed about it and understood that such misunderstandings around such a controversial drug are really easy to make.
I suppose one other thing is the call to the store.  Why did the manager say it was the customer's word against the drivers?  The two stories should have correlated just fine, unless the driver felt THEIR privacy was invaded by the police incorrectly disclosing their identity.  Still, the cat was out of the bag, and the best thing to do would have been for the driver to just apologize for the misunderstanding and state where their concerns came from.  Even so, it should never had HAD to progress to that point if everyone else had reacted correctly.

Luke
Luke

The patient has a kid shouldnt smoke mmj period. Get a real doctors opinion and they will subscribe you a real drug. We all know mmj is just an excuse anyways so stfu and wait till its legalized. You all are whats wrong with this country acting like your rights are being infringed upon yet you still accept your welfare checks to pay for the mmj.

Timothyhodnett
Timothyhodnett

FYI : Well papa john looks like he has a coke Or crack problem he used to be a big guy. Next time you see him in tv notice how much thinner hes gotten. He nods his head down at you sharp, and has all these body tics Or maybe its some other medical deal but damn....

Cherie Melton
Cherie Melton

my classmate's step-mother makes $75 an hour on the laptop. She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her income was $8148 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Here's the site http://1url.com/EMv

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Boycott Papa Johns !!

... and Stop Snitchin' !!

Jokerxxx74
Jokerxxx74

another case of someone not minding their own business. 

Victoria
Victoria

I want to know that driver's full name.  I want to know the full name of the manager at that Papa John's too.  This is abuse of a patient. I can only WISH that driver gets something nasty where he wishes he could smoke pot to calm it down.  Like MASSIVE ANXIETY from pissing people off.

Jimriver
Jimriver

The Driver was probably Jonesing and pissed that he wasn't invited to take a hit...

Jd1968
Jd1968

any tip under 5.00  dollars is a insult you smoking weed or doing something you shouldnt be doing . well you are just asking for it. even if you pretip on credit card you better give more pizzadeliever to your house is just like asking a stranger to come and see what you are doing i guess  get off your ass and pick up your pizza owe waite just make sure you are sober dont need a ticket for being high thats cost way more than a 10 dol tip you can give the driver 

Jd1968
Jd1968

well if you going to smoke your weed you better tip your driver very good or you will piss him offf and this can happen to you

johndenton46
johndenton46

Papa Johns sells raw pizzas for food stamps. Pizzas are not what anyone on food stamps should be buying from a restaurant. 

Collinitzki
Collinitzki

Let Papa John's know what you think of their decision to stand behind their driver trying to get one of their customers arrested for legally smoking weed in his own home.

 http://www.papajohns.com/custo...

MIKE
MIKE

MrEFag,

Blow me!!!!! Your hateful ignorant responses deserve condemnation. While your at it, GO TO HELL!!!

Rockymountainmmj
Rockymountainmmj

The answer is so simple here folks. Boycott Papa John's until the driver is fired and proof of such action is provided. If PJ's is so obstinate as to support a narc over their best business interests then they should suffer the economic penalty any business with poor customer service would. This is a privacy issue, when you open your door to a business your privacy must be respected. If PJ's wants to be the vanguard of narcing on your neighbor, they should be treated as such. Tell all your friends, start a national boycott immediately.

Political Atheist
Political Atheist

Send the best message you can to Papa Johns and boycott them. Easy for me to do b/c I never order from them anyway. But spread the word to your friends and support Sexy Pizza.

John Tew
John Tew

Pizza cops who would have thunk it!

voiceofreason2012
voiceofreason2012

It amazes all the crap I read.  The fact is the 9 year old daughter was present in the room, and pot smoke was present!  It is alarming that people don't give a damn about the welfare of children.

smackme420
smackme420

I kinda understand the "concern" of this pizza delivery guy. I hope it really was for the safety of the kids. I am very watchful of kids, their safety, and I WILL get involved if I think someone is abusing them in anyway. That said, If this guy just did it for selfish reasons or maybe for a reward, then I have a problem. Why don't citizens call the police when someone is smoking TOBACCO in a home. Second-hand smoke is a killer for children, almost everyone knows this and still, these poor kids are exposed to this very toxic pollutant. When are people going to learn this is our only shot at life and we should embrace it and each other? When will the Govt. leave us Pot-Smokers alone and arrest some REAL criminals? As a society, will we EVER get along and live in peace and harmony? Why must the law be involved with everything we do that easily can be worked out by mature, rational, adults? Because of the childish reaction from Papa John's manager, I will never order from them again. And I love their pizza!

Meganqt6
Meganqt6

I must say that the time and energy you all use to fight this is amazing... Everyone heard this from the news and only from Smiths side. Every news story only tells one side and is stretched to get your attention, which it did. This customer I believe has way over reacted. Have you ever had a problem and called a papa johns??? Well I work at one and I must say this has been blown way outta proportion. The manager at that store will always apologize if you had a problem with the service as well as do what she can to fix it for you.. No she didn't fire him cause that wouldn't fix it.. She did say sorry, she did talk to the employee and she did offer him a free order but he wouldn't calm down to hear the phone call before going to the media.  Just remember you are only hearing one side of the story and are judging and making decisions based on that... They same way the driver saw one side and made his decision... 

DoctorG
DoctorG

Better ingredients, better pizza, Papa Chron's. Where you'll never be narc'd on for having the munchies. 

AMMJ Supporter
AMMJ Supporter

We can expect this to happen more frequently as those opposed to Medical marijuana laws take the law into their own hands...this is the start of a vigilante era by conservatives that disagree when their own states vote in favor of laws allowing use of Medical marijuana.  The best we can do is to strike back lawfully when this happens either by citizens, rogue police, or organizations.  In this case, boycott Papa John's and turn to Dominos, Pizza Hut, Little Ceasars, etc....    

123456
123456

This household will NEVER order from ANY Papa Johns establishment EVER again.  I am actually in the MMJ industry and I will make sure EVERY one of the patients who come into the dispensaries know about this story. 

Elroy
Elroy

The Pizza delivery guy was a buzz kill and Corporate shouldve comped him a few pies, but the Customer needs to get over his spitefulness, perhaps caused by the legitimate reason why he's earned the license to use in the first place.

Scretch
Scretch

A lot of these kinds of probs could be avoided if people just chewed a little bud-better for your lungs too.

Scretch
Scretch

In no way do i advocate drug use, but seems to me you wouldn't want to alienate your pot smoking customers, that's probably who orders the most pizzas.

Ian Williams
Ian Williams

The main point I want to make here is that the police did everything they were supposed to and did an amazing job.

Instead of attacking some lowly, ignorant delivery driver and his public relations representative, why aren't we celebrating in the streets over the candid, sensible, accurate, and personable service of the Aurora Police Department? And from my knowledge and experience with the APD...this is kinda precedence setting.

APD did an amazing job with this incident. It's easy to overlook what didn't go wrong, but I'm so happy I didn't read a story about how an MMJ patient lost custody of their child because of the animosity against cannabis users that is so common elsewhere.

I hate that the only lesson we can take from this is that we should boycott some business because of the ignorance of one employee and the obvious response from the PR department.  If that were the case, i'd be boycotting my taxes every year, boycotting every business in town for something or another that one of their idiot employees did. I'd never do anything! Dumb people exist, doesn't mean we have to demonize them.

I certainly don't agree with the driver, but I can empathize with his situation, and while he may have been simply ignorant of the medical marijuana movement or the minimal risk from cannabis when juxtaposed to almost every substance found under a counter or in the liquor or medicine cabinet of every home in America.

Cannabis is commonly correlated with other drugs, violence, and poor living conditions. I've personally seen cannabis in situations where children were very much in danger. It was not the cannabis that was threatening. But it was present, and pungent. Correlation does not mean causation, but the social relationship isn't completely out of right field.

To ignore the obvious link between a drug that's been controlled by the black market for 72 years (and only 3 years into popular, local public reform) as a potential threat is too biased towards the proponents to be valid.

But even as someone staunchly opposed to the discrimination of medical marijuana patients and cannabis users as a whole, I can understand the actions of the driver.

I can't rightly condemn anyone for what they believed to be an act of compassion.  

As some dude once said, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Boycott who you will.  "Mellow Mushroom" Pizza (http://mellowmushroom.com/) is a good alternative. Sully's is good too. Benny Blancos, Mario's Two Fisted...Heck, we got lots of good pizza joints in town. 

But do me a favor next time you order and send the Aurora Police Department a large pepperoni with extra thanks and cheese!

Badtastic
Badtastic

The guy had a legal card for marijuana so he shouldnt have a problem with producing evidence to the police. I have a concealed pistol license, but if someone in Walgreens sees a glock sticking out of my belt and phones police, I would understand. I have a license to prove it and it's no big deal. As long as you have something that is highly illegal unless express authorization is given, you're going to have people worried that you may be committing a crime. This guy should stop bitching and maybe tone it down for people who don't know whe's legal.

john F.
john F.

Ok , lets use our energy ! We , all agree , we would prefer young people learn from our mistakes (learning it the hard way), in the question of wether or not to interdict oneself into the life of a young person , alcohol or pot . The payoff in discouraging someone to not drink alcohol, is so much greater a gift to society , than discouraging the use of pot . People that do not spend the time , the money , the effort becoming and maitaining alcholism , not to mention ruining their young livers and kidneys , are so much better off , for the rest of their lives ! I think when we ALL realize this , we will ALL be so much better off . So , clean up the half empty booze bottles , before a young person , develops "the taste" for alochol , That would actually be much more helpfull .

Hailey Dunnski Dunn
Hailey Dunnski Dunn

Just oes to show nothing well enough can be left alone.....he is probably a bible thumping jehova driver....

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

Im trying hard to figure out what the big deal is here. Somebody reported what he thought was a crime. The cop checked up on it and no crime was committed.

Big whoop.

Guest
Guest

Considering where Rick Smith lives, he's lucky the Aurora cops didn't just shoot him when they came to his door. Holding a slice of pizza can look an awful lot like holding a gun to trigger-happy cops. 

writtensouls
writtensouls

@Victoria  The only one I see being abusive and hateful here is you for wishing such horribleness upon someone that did what they morally felt obligated to do. Bye, 

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

How is this abuse? All the patient had to do is prove that he has the right to have pot. This is no different then proving your RX's are yours when you take them on a flight.

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

You could have just said "derp" instead of writing all of that.

William Breathes
William Breathes

That might be true, but the driver in this situation had been pre-tipped by Rick Smith in his online payment before even making the delivery.

Meganqt6
Meganqt6

No they don't that's papa murphys. idot!

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

Great, now you made me cry. Because a strangers comments on the internet really mean something to me.

Unlike you I don't want another man to blow me. I don't swing that way....like you.

DoctorG
DoctorG

No, the 9 year old was NOT present in the room. Read for comprehension. His daughter was taking a bath/shower while he was taking a medicine break and then Mr. Pizza Narc showed up. Seriously, think before you type.

I'm a card-holder and a father of 3 small children ages 3,6, and 9. NONE of them know that I use cannabis as I do not do it in their presence. Also, I mostly use a vaporizer so there's no smell. But if I have a joint or I'm not able to use the vape, I make sure I am still not around them. I take very good care of my kids and they are very happy children. Being a responsible MMJ user is what it's all about. And being a MMJ user does not make me a bad parent because I DO GIVE A DAMN about the welfare of children.

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

He didnt take the law into his own hands. He reported what he thought was a crime. Thats it.

DoctorG
DoctorG

As will I. This delivery dope and MrEFQ sound like they need to get together and go bowling.

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

Overreact much?

My2Cents
My2Cents

I definitely agree with you on how the situation was handled by the police, I was very impressed that they treated this person with respect and didn't just try to haul his ass off to jail

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for sharing a different point of view, MrEFQ. Much appreciated.

SpencerJ
SpencerJ

Thank you for taking this discussion to a new low.

Go back to your bridge troll.

DoctorG
DoctorG

Only ignorant fools report what they *THINK* is a crime without actually knowing if one is taking place or not. The very fact that this moron of a driver reported something, without having seen Mr. Smith even smoking weed, proves that he should probably keep delivering pizzas because he doesn't have the brain capacity to do anything better. And, of course, Papa John's stands behind this dope like he's some kind of hero. I'm continually amazed at the level of ignorance displayed by the people of this country. It's always the idiots that get recognition.

stanley cheeba
stanley cheeba

Yeah, it's a shame someone can find something to be passionate about.  Maybe we should all be apathetic and just watch TV in a darkened basement room for the rest of our lives.

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

You do realize that it is still illegal for non-card holder right?

Clearly you don't. Im amazed at your level of ignorance.

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

This is such a non issue that having passion for this just shows how pathetic your life is.

As a card holder I dont see why this is an issue at all. I see this the same as somebody with a concealed gun permit being reported, being questioned by an officer and proving that he has the right to carry.

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