Marijuana Arrest or Teach A Lesson?

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Tony Maples Photography


An off-duty Arlington, Texas police officer, discovered a teenager smoking marijuana. Officer Eric Ball was working security at a movie theater while off-duty. A patron of the theater approached him and told him someone was smoking marijuana outside.

Officer Ball walked outside to take a look. He noticed a teenager finishing a cigarette. As the officer approached, the teenager discarded the cigarette. Unfortunately for the teenager, marijuana gives off a unique odor when burning.

Marijuana - unrolled joint with handmade paper filter

Photo: Public Domain

Different species of marijuana smell differently. The smell has been described as smelling like a skunk, fresh tomatoes, burnt tea leaves, and even burning hair. Officer Ball recognized the odor of marijuana as he walked near the teen.

In an interview with 12 News, Officer Ball’s supervisor Lt. Chris Cook said, “Marijuana gives off a distinct odor. He knew what that teen was doing. He could very well have arrested this teen, but instead he tried to do something better.”

When Officer Ball spoke with the teenager, the teen was polite and admitted he had messed up. Instead of simply arresting the young man, Ball took a different route.



In high school, Officer Ball played football. Whenever football players on his team made a bad decision, his coaches would discipline the players with push-ups. For some reason, that memory popped into Ball’s mind as he stood talking with the teenager.

Rather than scar the young man’s life with an arrest record, Officer Ball offered the teen a choice. According to 12 News, “He said, ‘You give me 200 push-ups, I won’t put you in jail,” said Lt. Cook.

marijuana joint

Photo: Raihan Rana

After the young man had finished his push-ups, he and Officer Ball returned to the theater and tracked down the teenager’s mother. His mother approved of the way Officer Ball handled the situation. She gave her son a stern warning. Thanking Officer Ball with a hug, she informed him he should have made her son do even more push-ups.