Twenty-two year old Raymond Lass of Bristol, Connecticut made his way to the Aldo Leopold Wildlife Management Area in Southbury on April 25 for the first day of spring turkey hunting season, and just one day before Connecticut legalized medical marijuana. He set up his pop-up blind and hoped to harvest some unwary gobblers, but he was instead was found smoking a joint by Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Police (DEEP) and Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police officers.
The officers were on patrol on Kuhne Road in Southbury when they observed a vehicle parked in an area adjacent to a section of private land that borders the Wildlife Management Area. The officers proceeded to check the area, locating Lass’ blind on state land. “As officers approached the blind they smelled what they believed to be a strong odor of burning marijuana,” according to the DEEP press release. “The officers looked into the blind and observed Lass smoking what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette. Officers seized a quantity of suspected marijuana and conducted a field sobriety test on Lass, which he allegedly failed.”
Though he did have the necessary hunting license and permit to turkey hunt, there is no permit for hunting under the influence. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and/or up to a $2,000 fine. Marijuana possession carries an additional $150 fine. Lass was subsequently arrested and released on written permission to appear in Superior Court in Waterbury on May 9.