Marijuana is illegal in North Carolina, except when you’re ordering takeout with the mayor of Raleigh.
In a time of national emergency, everyone wants to help however possible. On the surface, you would probably view the actions of Mary-Ann Baldwin, mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina, as benevolent and kind. Last week, she posted a photo online of her takeout lunch — a show of solidarity towards healthy social distancing while supporting local business.
“Here is what we did tonight to support our local restaurants. Take out from Garland. And we left a 35 percent tip. Please do the same,” she wrote in a tweet.
Here is what we did tonight to support our local restaurants. Take out from Garland. And we left a 35 percent tip. Please do the same. pic.twitter.com/SI21NAvV8U
— Mary-Ann Baldwin (@maryannbaldwin) March 15, 2020
That positive call to action didn’t go according to plan, though. With everyone working from home and more idle time on our hands, internet sleuths noticed an item that shouldn’t be there. And we’re not talking about lamb shanks, either. Right above the tandoori poussin box, a marijuana vape pen can be seen.
This is notable because North Carolina has no comprehensive medical or recreational marijuana laws. Lawmakers did pass a restrictive medical bill that allowed cannabis oil with less than 0.9% THC for intractable epilepsy patients. But nowhere in the state of North Carolina can someone carry a weed vape pen legally.
Unless, apparently, you’re ordering takeout with Mary-Ann Baldwin. Social media users were quick to crack jokes and point out the hypocrisy.
Can I have a hit off that weed pen your honor
— 🌴🕊 Stefan BC 🌹🏴 (@Stefan_BC) March 24, 2020
Everyone is assuming that is a weed pen. It very well not be a weed pen. It might be DMT.
— SGT(R) Jon Lubecky (@jonlubecky) March 15, 2020
So if you or I get caught w marijuana in N.C. we get thrown in jail while the mayor posts pictures telling you how much to tip with her weed pen in the picture pic.twitter.com/qB8Xme1rfJ
— Brent4brains (@Brentforbrains) March 16, 2020
There’s no confirmation yet if the vape pen belonged to the mayor or not. She has not commented on the pen’s existence or deleted the phone online. It’s also worth adding that Baldwin has criticized marijuana enforcement in Raleigh in the past.
“The other thing is, you get kids busted for a little bit of marijuana, where we’re sending people to jail for something that is legal in other parts of the country,” she previously told Indy Weekly. “Is that really how we should be policing? Are there ways that we can help kids, help young people, instead of just busting them?”
“What are we doing to facilitate conversations in the community between the police?” she continued. “We have a great police department. At the same time, I know that there’s opportunity for improvement.”