Coachella Fest and the CopsMissed Part 1? Read that first

So, you want to go to Coachella Fest this year, look cool as you cruise the playground and stay out of trouble. How do you do that?

The clothes you wear to the festival won’t identify you as someone who is using or possessing drugs (unless you go dressed as Superfly! Oh, too young to know who that is? Google it!). So, look the way you want to look. You do not need to go out and buy yourself festival stash underwear or belts (Google that too!) to hide your dope in. That won’t help. It is not where you have your drugs stashed on you…it is HOW and WHEN you remove those drugs from wherever you have them, to stash them someplace else, to use them or to hand them off to someone else that may be the problem.

The cops generally are not just randomly going up to people (male or female) and searching them or asking if they have dope on them. They are watching for any furtive hand movements that may indicate someone is moving their drugs from one place on their person to another place on their person or giving them to another person. The cops know from experience that most people believe that once they have gotten past some security point that they were concerned about (entrance gate, security check, etc.) or they have gotten to a safe place, that they can now relax and let their guard down (personal possession lockers, behind a tree, in a circle of friends, etc.). Many people then believe that they are able to safely grab their stash and do something with it.

So, break the cops of that belief and don’t grab your stash until you are truly in a safe location that is out of view of anyone else…like a bathroom stall / port-a-potty. Many of the arrests we have seen the past few years have taken place at the locations we mention: after one goes through a security check or a security gate and at the lockers.

The cops are waiting inside the gates and by the lockers that you can rent for yourself watching to see who is going to grab their stash. You may think no one is watching. But, if you are visible to others, you are being watched.

IF FOR SOME REASON A COP does come up to you and ask you what you just took out of your pants or what’s in your hand or what did you just hand to your friend, do not answer them! You have no legal duty to answer a cop’s questions. If in fact you are holding an illegal substance on your person, it is best to play the straight legal angle and stand on your 5th Amendment right to remain silent. Chances are, if you are reading this, you have never been in trouble before and have never been hassled by cops before. That’s okay. Now is the time to start being a real adult and exercising your Constitutional Rights.

The cops may search you anyway. But, they will be doing it illegally and it will get thrown out of court if the cops are truthful about you standing on your 5th Amendment rights. Most arrests we see are a result of people answering the cops when they are questioned by them. If you are not under arrest or being lawfully detained because you are suspected of committing an actual crime, (and seeing you grab some unidentified item from your pants is not reasonable suspicion of a crime) you can just walk away from the cops if they start questioning you. If they stop you from walking away, you are under arrest. Again, if you actually are in possession of a controlled substance, you are going to be arrested anyway. So, make them work for it!

And, yes, up to 1 oz. of marijuana is legal to possess in California.

BUT, it is NOT legal to smoke or ingest it in anyway in public…a music festival is a public place!

Next edition will tell you what to do and say (or not say) while in police custody.