“I know from my training and experience as a police officer that smoking marijuana will often leave a green tint to the user’s tongue”

Article content

The police attended and an officer asked Bilodeau to show him his tongue, which he apparently did. Seeing a “green tint to the back of his tongue” and telling the accused that the cops already knew he had partaken of pot given the state of his tongue, Bilodeau allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana.

He then gathered a clear plastic baggie of 2.7 grams of weed from his bedroom closet and presented it to police. He was arrested.

“I know from my training and experience as a police officer that smoking marijuana will often leave a green tint to the user’s tongue,” KXXV cites the arresting officer as writing in documents filed with the court.

Bilodeau was reportedly released the next day after posting a surety bond.

Despite having no factual basis, the link between green tongues and cannabis consumption persists, thought to be linked to a specialized training program taught around the world starting in the mid-1980s. At least one defence lawyer reports the training tells instructors to “point out to students that there are no known studies that confirm marijuana causing a green coating on the tongue.”

Even so, the approach gathered steam with a drug intoxication detection study, released in 1998 and whose authors included two law enforcement agents.

Despite having no factual basis, the link between green tongues and cannabis consumption persists. /
Despite having no factual basis, the link between green tongues and cannabis consumption persists. / Photo by Deagreez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Another study two decades later — this time, exploring physiological signs from drug detection examinations — noted that several objective signs were excellent indicators of the presence of THC. Beyond the red eyes, droopy eyelids and affected speech, though, was tongue coating (no word on whether or not green came into play), which was apparently present in 96.2 per cent of cases involved.

Article content

As part of the handbook training called Identifying the Marihuana User, law enforcement were apparently told to look for a “possible green coating.”

That is exactly what officers did three years ago in Pennsylvania, when a 20-year-old woman was pulled over and charged with driving under the influence after the arresting officer reportedly noticed her tongue had green film on it.

The advice, however, did not sit well with Vermont-based defence attorney Bradley Myerson, USA Today reported at the time that.

“If someone is going to be convicted, it should be based on facts proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” Myerson said. “Green tongue has nothing to do with marijuana ingestion, let alone impairment,” he added.

Around that time, a U.S. federal court ruling determined that observing a “green tongue” together with raised taste buds and the presence of marijuana amounted to probable cause, according to Graham Lawyer Blog.

“We find no case stating that recent marijuana usage leads to a green tongue.” /
“We find no case stating that recent marijuana usage leads to a green tongue.” / Photo by mheim3011 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Another lawyer, Virginia-based Jon Katz reported scouring Westlaw to discovere what courts have said about green tongues and weed, but only came up with three helpful references with regard to the influence of drugs.

In one case out of Washington State, the court determined: “Although we assume the officer’s assertion to be true for purposes of this opinion, we are nevertheless skeptical as to its accuracy. We find no case stating that recent marijuana usage leads to a green tongue.”

Predictably, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) was having none of the green tongue argument. “The science behind marijuana consumption turning your tongue green is about as sound as the science behind the earth being flat or that lying makes your nose grow,” NORML executive director Erik Altieri reported in 2019.

Lawyer Don Turner offers some advice, perhaps enhanced by a head-shake. Yes, oral health could influence the look of the tongue and, yes, cannabis can decrease your output of saliva and cause mouth dryness, perhaps upping the risk of bacterial infections.

“These infections can discolor your tongue, making it look brown, or yellow, or yes, even green. However, there are many other causes of a green tongue, all of which have nothing to do with cannabis,” Turner writes.

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Subscribe to Weekend Dispensary, a new weekly newsletter from The GrowthOp.

SOURCE: https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-news/green-tongue-green-lights-cannabis-charge-for-texas-man