Pro-Pot “Truth Car” Patrols Fort Worth

By Tony O'Neill 05/16/11

If you get pulled over with weed in the Fort Worth area, better hope it’s NORML’s “Truth Enforcement Vehicle”

The Truth Car at rest.
Photo via norml

So you’re driving at precisely 5 mph under the speed limit, coming out of what is known as a “high drug traffic area,” with a recently procured bag or two of your favorite indulgence… when you glance into the back window, and your heart stops. Black and whites. Your life flashes before your eyes. Instead of sitting at home tonight happily stoned, watching reruns of The Three Stooges, you’re going to be sharing a cell with a 350-pound man called Tiny who wants to be your new best friend.

Well, if this happens to you in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you’d better hope and pray that it’s car number 420 about to pull you over. We at The Fix we’re tickled to learn via the NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) blog about the Dallas/Fort Worth NORML branch’s latest action to raise public awareness about the sorry state of our country’s drug laws. The "Truth Enforcement Vehicle” is a former police car bought at auction. NORML replaced the red and blue lights with green LEDs, and christened it vehicle #420 (of course). No word yet about whether the car will be pulling people over to give them advice on the correct procedure for rolling a blunt, or to lecture us on the health benefits of using a vaporizer. Still, as a tool for raising awareness it’s a unique piece of theater, and one that has already caught the attention of the authorities. In fact, David Sloane, a criminal defense attorney who also happens to be the public information officer for the Dallas/Fort Worth branch of NORML, has reported that the Truth Squad car has already been pulled over by the Fort Worth PD.
“I was driving under the speed limit and a FTW PD traffic unit working stationary radar on the shoulder started kicking up dirt and gravel coming onto the freeway before I even past him….” Mr. Sloane reports on the NORML blog. After pulling Sloane over, the officer noticed an old “City of FTW” vehicle inventory sticker on the dash. “371… was that a traffic unit?” I said no it was a Low-Jack car… but I re-numbered it to 420. He kinda chuckled again and said he noticed and something to the effect of everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. Then he asked if he could get some pictures! I told him sure and turned the light bar back on for him. He pulled out his phone and began snapping away… We exchanged cordial adieus and I was on my way. He wasn’t menacing or harassing at all.  I think they are just curious. I’m sure those pics got the FTW-PD most-forwarded award for the afternoon shift!”

So a big well done to NORML, and an even bigger well done to the unnamed police officer for proving that all cops are not humorless authoritarians.

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Tony O'Neill, a regular contributor to The Fix, is the author of several novels, including Digging the VeinDown and Out on Murder Mile and Sick City. He also co-authored the New York Times bestseller Hero of the Underground (with Jason Peter) and the Los Angeles Times bestseller Neon Angel (with Cherie Currie). He lives in New York with his wife and daughter. You can follow Tony on Twitter.

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