Texas Cop Orders Teen to Do Push-Ups Over Suspected Pot Smoking


A teen suspected of smoking pot outside a movie theater in Arlington, Texas caught an unusual break from an off-duty cop.

He may have gotten off with sore arms instead of legal trouble after the officer ordered him to do 200 push-ups and let him off with a warning, according to ABC affiliate WFAA.

The officer, identified as Eric Ball, said he was working off-duty that night at the Arlington movie theater, when someone told him a teenager was smoking weed outside.

When he went out, he said he saw the teenager finishing a cigarette and discarding it, and he smelled marijuana as he approached.

“Marijuana gives a distinct odor. He knew what the teen was up to,” said Lt. Chris Cook with Arlington Police.

Cook said that the teen responded respectfully and realized he’d made a mistake, so Ball decided to take a different approach.

“He said, ‘You give me 200 push-ups, I won’t put you in jail,’” according to Cook.



Could he have really imprisoned a teen over a single joint? Or was that just rhetoric? Seems unnecessarily cruel. While I don’t support the use of recreational marijuana I don’t think imprisoning teens for its use is productive or helpful to society. Of course the opposite extreme, such as here in Vancouver, where I can’t go to a beach or park without smelling it, is not productive or helpful either…
As an aside, there’s no way I could physically do 200 push-ups. Not as a teen and not now.


Is smell enough for probable cause? In Massachusetts it’s not. The kid would have been able to walk away from the officer legally since our court just ruled recently that you don’t have to stop for a cop unless you’re under arrest.

I’m guessing Texas law is different.


If it ever was probable cause in MA, it certainly isn’t now.


Haha, very good point. Of course it’s still illegal for under 21. It’s been decriminalized for years now so the cops aren’t all that concerned about it except for the big dealers.

The legislature is dragging their feet with approving retail though so we are in a weird gray area right now. My assumption is they want to make sure they get their piece of the pie.


Its enough to detain and search, of course in this instance the officer could simply bend down and pick up the butt of the joint and there is your probable cause to arrest.


Depends on the state, in Georgia it could either be taken to jail or handled as a Citation (ticket). If taken to jail he would probably bond out and go to court.

Being taken to jail is not a conviction, but merely a step to ensure you appear at court. You are taken to jail, booked in (Picture, fingerprints) and given a bond that is equivalent to the severity of the crime, then you go to court and it goes from there.


In Texas? They couldn’t do that here. Maybe if they saw him drop it that would be enough for a search but not based on smell alone. The cop could be smelling an actual skunk.


I find it hilarious as an outside observer, given the amount of weed smoked in the area of London I live in if the police started asking people to do push ups there would be lines of men and women of all ages hundreds longing doing this. The police in this area of London quietly ignore marijuana smoking so long as people don’t try and deal it openly, they could never quell it and have bigger concerns.


I wonder if there will be a follow up article about teen trying out for the football team. :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s a lot of push-ups!

I did around 40 pushups yesterday and I’m feeling it today, sore and tired.


He did see him throw it.

This sort of thing is not all that unusual. Yes, one can go to jail, usually over night, for marijuana, and then get probation for a few months. At this time, marijuana still carries up to six months in jail, though a fine, or no more than a couple of weeks is usual. Likewise, police are under no legal obligation to arrest, so such a move as this cop made might have been best for the kid and society.

I won’t defend Texas drug laws. They are ridiculous.


That cop sounds like a real authoritarian creep to me. And 200 push-ups? I doubt most people are capable of 200 push-ups. I’m not.

Before I had kids, I would have taken the night in jail before I dropped to the ground and gave him even one push-up.


Maybe he was allowed to do them in sets.

From the sound of the video, the teenager was minor and therefore would be legally prohibited from using weed whether or not it was legal. The officer was merciful and hopefully this kid will think twice before he uses drugs again.


I used to think short Camels (unfiltered) sometimes smelled like marijuana smoke for some reason. But imagine if this had been a tobacco cigarette instead of a marijuana one. The officer probably would get in serious trouble for letting a teen off when he committed such a serious offense.


He could have just hauled him to jail, he was extremely merciful considering…


Yeah, a 17/18 year old spending the night in jail would have been so much better :rolleyes:


Yeah, that’s basically how it is in Vancouver as well. Until such time as the federal Liberals introduce new legislation (in 2017 I’m hearing), recreational pot technically remains illegal, but it isn’t enforced in BC. Its openly smoked by all age groups everywhere you go. Personally it bothers me and I’ve never tried it myself…but I would never ever want tax dollars wasted and lives destroyed by imprisoning people for smoking a joint. We don’t imprison people for getting drunk - even though that can be both grave matter (from a Catholic perspective) and very harmful to one’s body and mind.


That would have been authoritarian, too. :rolleyes:


Never tried it myself either but I have no real objections to people smoking an odd bit ‘Old Rastafarian Holborn’ in moderation. Obviously not before driving a bus or using heavy machinery etc and it does have negative effects if smoked regularly in large doses. But as you point out so does alcohol. My area is full of West Indian people and telling some sections of that community they could not smoke ganja would be taking your life into your own hands


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