Sheriff's 4/20 Facebook post prompts debate, discussion

YORK, Va. (WVEC) -- April 20 - better known as simply 4/20 - has become an unofficial holiday of sorts for pot smokers. 

It's often received a tongue-in-cheek response with law enforcement, but one local police agency wanted to also use it to highlight awareness for parents.

The York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office asked parents to monitor their children for references or belongings to "420," which could indicate their involvement with marijuana.

"Although marijuana is now legal in some states it is still illegal in Va. and is still against federal law," the sheriff's office wrote in the post. "Our deputies, especially our school resource officers will be keeping an extra alert eye out today for people who celebrate this non holiday by possessing marijuana."

They ended the post by saying they would continue to enforce the law and for "'Weed smokers' beware!"

Many commenters responded that the SO's priorities may be misplaced.  "Maybe you should focus on the heroin epidemic and not a plant that indeed does help certain people," one person wrote. 

"Please post more 'awareness memes' on the heroin epidemic. Even though marijuana is illegal, it is not the drug that is killing our young people at an astronomical rate," said another.

While the Sheriff's Office initially replied they "focus on all illegal drugs," they did decide to make a follow up post specifically on the heroin epidemic:

SEE ALSO: Hooked on Heroin -- Virginia's Growing Killer

A public health emergency was declared in Virginia last year due to a rise in heroin and other opioid overdoses, with more than 1,400 deaths reported in 2016.

Virginia has taken steps to battling the overdose epidemic, including launching an awareness website, and expanding Medicaid benefits to help addicts.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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