Mary A. Castillo
Six local high school football players were stopped after Laguna
Beach police Sgt. Guy Miller spotted them with a two-foot-tall
marijuana plant while waiting at a Jack in the Box drive-through.
“Sgt. Miller saw that plant leaves were swaying inside the vehicle
and that it was being held by one of the passengers,” said Sgt. Greg
He noticed that when the passengers saw him, the plant immediately
went out of his view.
Miller left the restaurant on a priority call involving beer
bottles allegedly being thrown at a local bar. He called officer Jim
Cota to make the traffic stop. Bartz said when Cota stopped the black
Suburban all six young men denied knowledge of the plant. The officer
found it stuffed in one of the inner compartments next to the center
console, said Bartz.
After they were brought to the station, the young men told police
that they had just stolen it from a friend when Sgt. Miller pulled in
behind them at the fast food restaurant, said Miller. They alleged
that the owner of the plant -- a fellow student -- had bragged about
growing it and that they took it as a prank. Police said they
stressed to officers that they never intended to use the plant for
personal use or gain.
The group were released to their parents at about 3:30 a.m. Friday
after being lectured on the dangers of drugs, said Bartz.
The parents of the alleged owner of the plant will be contacted by