Pot Vaporizer in Hospital Maternity Ward Gets Fla. Man Arrested - Legally Weird
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Pot Vaporizer in Hospital Maternity Ward Gets Fla. Man Arrested

Celebrating a baby's birth by puffing on a cigar may be a thing of the past, but what about puffing on a vaporizer pen? Just ask the man who was busted for allegedly using his pot vaporizer in a hospital maternity ward.

David Bastin, 28, of Jupiter, Florida, was arrested for possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia after a nurse smelled weed wafting from a certain hospital room and called the cops, TCPalm.com reports.

Even though vaporizers or e-cigarettes are legal in Florida, you can't use them everywhere. And using them with illegal drugs could result in a very unchill experience behind bars.

Are Vaporizers Paraphernalia?

Bastin was apparently visiting his girlfriend in the maternity ward, but it's not clear from news reports (or his arrest report) if he was the baby's father. Regardless, Bastin allegedly chose to mellow out in the ward -- an idea which didn't pass the smell test.

When officers arrived, Bastin handed over a "black oblong device" which he said was a vaporizer, according to TCPalm.com.

Drug possession laws usually prohibit paraphernalia -- which are devices used to take or ingest illegal drugs. This can include crack pipes, syringes, and in some cases, vaporizers used for pot. In Florida, it's illegal for a person to use drug paraphernalia to inhale, inject, or ingest a controlled substance.

Bastin likely wouldn't be facing the paraphernalia charge had he used the vaporizer to smoke tobacco. But he was smoking marijuana, which is a controlled substance in Florida. So under Florida laws, the vaporizer can potentially be considered paraphernalia in that case.

Using Vaporizers Indoors

Although Bastin was arrested for possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia, he probably would've gotten in trouble anyway for using a vaporizer to smoke any substance in the maternity ward.

Some people falsely believe that they can smoke e-cigarettes indoors because they don't produce smoke. However, some states like New Jersey have an outright ban of smoking e-cigarettes in public places.

While Florida doesn't have a statewide ban on e-cigarettes or vaporizers indoors, several local jurisdictions have barred people from using them in places where traditional tobacco is already banned, according to the Tobacco Prevention Network of Florida. That includes the city of Stuart, where Bastin was arrested. So even if he'd been lighting up tobacco, Bastin could still have gotten in trouble for using a vaporizer indoors.

Bastin was arrested and sent to Martin County jail. Maybe next time Bastin should try some deep breathing techniques instead when he's trying to de-stress.

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