In Re Bong Water

And here's Olympic legend Michael Phelps with the color commentary.State of Minnesota v. Sara Ruth Peck, opinion of the Minnesota Supreme Court, October 22 (abridged). The phrase “bong water” appears 64 times in 27 pages.

ANDERSON, G. Barry, Justice.

In this appeal we consider whether the term “mixture” applies to bong water that tests positive for the presence of a controlled substance…

Peck moved to dismiss the first-degree controlled-substance charge for lack of probable cause, arguing that as a matter of law the 37.17 grams of bong water did not constitute a “mixture” under Minn. Stat. § 152.01, subd. 9a (2008)…

On September 4, 2007, the crime lab issued a report indicating that the jar contained a “pink liquid exhibiting a fruity odor,” and that the liquid weighed 37.17 grams and tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine…

[Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Douglas] Rauenhorst also testified about the common usage of a bong. He explained that a bong is often used to smoke controlled substances. Rauenhorst testified that while a person can use a bong without water, it is normally used with water. Rauenhorst explained that the water “is used in sucking the smoke from the end of the ball of the [bong] through the water up to the consumer.” Rauenhorst agreed that “[w]hen a person is smoking with a bong pipe, they don’t ordinarily inhale the water . . . [o]r ingest the water.”

Rauenhorst further testified that the pink coloring and fruity odor of the liquid discovered in Peck’s bong was significant. He explained that bong water is not normally colored or scented. When asked why a narcotics user would keep bong water, Rauenhorst replied, “for future use . . . either drinking it or shooting it in the veins.” Rauenhorst further testified that he had actual knowledge of narcotics users consuming water with methamphetamine. On cross-examination, Rauenhorst was unsure whether bong users might flavor the water in order to flavor the smoke…

Based on the standard usage of a bong and the fact that Peck had not removed the water from the bong, the [district] court concluded that Peck “intended [the bong water] to be a part of the bong, or drug paraphernalia.” Based on its determination that the bong water was better classified as “material of any kind” under the drug paraphernalia definition provided in Minn. Stat. § 152.01, subd. 18 (2008), the court dismissed the first-degree possession charge. The court also concluded that allowing the weight of the water to be used to enhance the possession crime to a first-degree possession charge was “unjust.”…

We conclude that when applied to the water containing methamphetamine stored in the bong, the phrase “preparation, compound, mixture, or substance” is clear and free from all ambiguity. Bong water is plainly a “substance” because it is material of a particular kind or constitution. The bong water is a “mixture” because it is a “substance containing a controlled substance” — methamphetamine.

ANDERSON, Paul H., Justice (dissenting).

There is limited evidence in the record as to how a bong operates, but information on the use of a bong is helpful in understanding the essence of this case…

Minn. court: Bong water can count as illegal drug [AP]

Minnesota v. Peck [Minnesota Supreme Court, PDF]

33 comments:

7:53 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

the funniest thing about this is the google ad on the link…
“HIGH quality water pipes, Free Shipping.”
http://www.rastabongs.com

incarcerating tommy chong for selling bongs online was not a deterrent…shocking!

fun fact: i was informed last night by jay leno that there are more marijuana dispensaries in caleeeefawnya than starbucks.

8:01 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

*Shooting up* with BONG WATER? I think Trooper Rauenhorst has been getting too much of his drug information from the internet.

Quick, somebody tell him about jenkem – he’s just the guy to protect our kids from butthash!

8:08 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

What was that song, “Gang a bong”…?

Back in the day we had florid contraptions of increasing complexity, or PVC devices the engineering students threw
together in complicated fashion. We sucked bonhs full of beer, tequila and plain ole tap water. But inject the backwash in our veins? No, that’s just barbaric .

8:21 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@The Nabisco Quiver are Go!:
back in the day we could create a bong out of ANYthing…we were very clever. if you’re a FB friend, you can view my pics from a high school class trip to england. there was weed everywhere, but no paraphernalia stores. i posted a pic of my friend smoking a pipe i made out of a tampax.

9:37 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

because it is a “substance containing a controlled substance”

hmmm
that would mean that my blood is officially a controlled substance.

see ya later. must actually work at work today. can you imagine?
the nerve.

9:38 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

I don’t understand anything.

9:50 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

couldnt help posting this one in light of our recent related discussions:

Sustainable living now includes “edible pets” to curb global warming

“If you have a German shepherd or similar-sized dog, for example, its impact every year is exactly the same as driving a large car around,” Brenda Vale said.

“A lot of people worry about having SUVs but they don’t worry about having Alsatians and what we are saying is, well, maybe you should be because the environmental impact … is comparable.”

humm
and me with two yummie Hummers waiting at home.
(I know I said I had to work. later)

Full Post: Save the planet: time to eat dog?

come on

10:19 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Capt Howdy: There was a guest op-ed in the NYT recently about how cats are the reason the oceans are overfished, to supply them with yummy canned food, and suggested getting a low-eco-impact pet like a guinea pig.
I think not. My cats just wish they were getting fish every day.

10:26 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Mistress Cynica:
perhaps we should start feeding them environmentalists

10:29 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

Speaking of Minnesota, I’m terrified to learn that Michele Bachmann is only the 31st most conservative member of the House. That means nearly 1 in 6 Republican members of the House are more conservative than her. Chilling.

10:31 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@mellbell:
but 9 out of 10 are less insane

10:33 am • Friday • October 23, 2009
10:56 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

This isn’t fucking funny, its fucking heartbreaking. Its not a fucking joke, its someone’s fucking life, this dude is going to be considered a trafficker, a first degree crime, like murder and rape. Fucking insane, fat fucking rich fucking judges sitting there, ignorant or corrupt one or the other. Its fucking kafka-esque is what it is. Fucking “justice.” Its all bullshit, I’m out of order, no, you’re out of order, you’re out of order, he’s out of order.

Fucking shit makes me cry.

11:00 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Prommie:
wasnt it a woman?

from talk cleft:
It would be laughable, except it’s possible a woman may do 86 months — 7 years — for possession 2.5 tablespoons of bong water.

11:07 am • Friday • October 23, 2009
11:07 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Capt Howdy: I have a free way with pronouns. “Dude,” “man,” and “bro” are all pronouns, aren’t they?

11:09 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Prommie:
ah
gay boys get into trouble for that

11:10 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Capt Howdy: I needed that.

11:27 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Prommie:
a little frightening how well it fits, no?

11:31 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Capt Howdy:
I’ve had to point out to the collie pack at home that in some societies they’d be considered a meal in a throw rug.

11:38 am • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Jesuswalksinidaho:
my huskies get that a couple of time a day.

“do you have any idea what a fabulous coat you two would make?”

12:37 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Capt Howdy: Hey, hey!! Dachshunds are not weiners, bub.

12:59 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@al2o3cr:

Shooting up bong water from a meth pipe is actually quite common- I learned that in prevention workshops as a volunteer for STOP AIDS in SF.

1:54 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Tommmcatt is hunkered down in the trenches: Meth users seem to be willing to do nearly any disgusting thing if it means getting more meth into their systems. It’s a terrifying drug that way.

2:37 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@IanJ:

In the same workshops, I heard of people drinking, or drying and smoking their own urine to get high.

Sad.

3:59 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@The Nabisco Quiver are Go!: Hey! Don’t you owe us me a story or something? I did get rid of the Phillies P in reliance on you telling us some story. (Attys: IXNAY on the onsiderationcay or argainbay, ‘kay?)

6:55 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Prommie:

“This isn’t fucking funny, its fucking heartbreaking. Its not a fucking joke, its someone’s fucking life, this dude is going to be considered a trafficker, a first degree crime, like murder and rape. Fucking insane, fat fucking rich fucking judges sitting there, ignorant or corrupt one or the other. Its fucking kafka-esque is what it is. Fucking “justice.” Its all bullshit, I’m out of order, no, you’re out of order, you’re out of order, he’s out of order.

Fucking shit makes me cry.”

HEAR HEAR!!!

/throwing plates at you

7:07 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@Prommie: @baked: You’re both right, and I thought about that, but I couldn’t resist detailed instructions for bong use from the Minnesota Supreme Court.

9:33 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@JNOV: Technichcally it was the “promise” of telling a story, riiiight counsellor? Review the tape.

But yeah, I owe a dish to the group. Can I wait until the mood strikes/overshare happens?

/kills suspense by stating categorically that no, it’s not that kind of story/

9:35 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@The Nabisco Quiver are Go!: You need to get to drinking, then.

9:42 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@JNOV: As it turns out, that’s more likely during the week when I don’t need to read stories, tuck in chillun, remain sentient.

9:45 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

@The Nabisco Quiver are Go!: No worries. I have a long memory.

10:05 pm • Friday • October 23, 2009

The most amazing and bizarre thing is, that movie, And Justice For All, is what, more than anything else, made me decide to go to law school. Now I look back at it, and realize, it is exactly why I should not have gone to law school. If practicing law meant I could shave my head and start flinging plates down the courthouse corridors, I would like practicing law. Silly me, I didn’t realize that was fiction.

It turns out, I am the one who is out of order, because I cannot pretent its real, like everyone else.

Add a comment