When police decided to burn over 3 tons of cannabis, you can probably guess how that worked out. By the time officials realized that they didn’t think things all the way through, it was way too late.
Indonesia is tough on drugs — “shoot you in front of a firing squad for smuggling drugs” tough. When it comes to drugs, they simply don’t play around. That’s why it came as a shock that Palmerah police accidentally got an entire town high when they burned 3.3 tons of confiscated cannabis outside of their sub-precinct office.
According to Breitbart, the haul was valued at $1 million. Although some conflicting reports say it was only 1,100 pounds, the result was what you’d expect regardless of whether it was actually 3.3 tons or “just” 1,100 pounds. But, I digress.
Tangerang police chief Senior Commander Riad said his officers seized the stash in earlier raids in Serpong, South Tangerang, according to Breitbart. The destruction of the illicit substances was witnessed by several officials from the West Jakarta municipality.
The West Jakarta police officers anticipated that the fumes created by the burning drugs would be powerful and potent, and they reportedly prepared by wearing appropriate masks, but there was one big problem. They were the only ones outfitted with the protective gear.
The officers, who also destroyed a considerable amount of crystal meth — 1.8 kilos to be exact — and 2,538 ecstasy pills from the confiscation, neglected to inform the locals in the surrounding town of Tangerang, which is 15.5 miles west of the capital Jakarta. So, watching civilians and others nearby were left exposed to the fumes.
The smoke spread from the yard where the burning was held to surrounding residents’ houses. This resulted in a number of people complaining of feeling dizzy, suffering from headaches, and even feeling completely high after inhaling the tangy smoke that was given off by the bonfire.
According to Daily Mail, one journalist said they had to “sit down and have a cup of tea” to deal with the effects of unexpectedly getting high when the stash went up in a fiery blaze of intentional destruction.
“I got a headache because I wasn’t wearing a mask,” a resident named Deden added. Shockingly, there were no confirmed complaints of “the munchies.”
Of course, the symptoms wore off within a few hours with no longterm, residual effects. There are no reports whether there was a spike in snack food purchases that day. But, all joking aside, what’s perhaps even more amusing is that this isn’t the only time something similar has happened.
In fact, there are quite a few classic clips of reporters struggling to cover similar events since fire is a common method for disposing of drugs by authorities in various countries. You’ve likely seen some of these before, such as the familiar footage below.
In another clip, seen below, an embarrassed BBC reporter struggled to finish his broadcast as he got high after getting too close to a stack of burning drugs and inhaling the intoxicating fumes.
Burning a three-ton pile of confiscated drugs can get an entire town high. While this sounds like common sense, apparently it’s not. Since they pride themselves on being tough on drugs, the Indonesian police force might want to rethink its drugs disposal policy. Although many authorities destroy confiscated drugs by fire, these guys obviously did something wrong after accidentally helping unsuspecting residents get as high as a kite.
Destroying tons of marijuana in a big bonfire proved to be as reckless as it sounds when those witnessing the event started inhaling the fumes. Who knew? Apparently, the officials never saw the episode of “The Simpsons” in which the fictional town of Springfield’s police department did the same thing. Who says you can’t learn a thing or two from cartoons?