Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

According to a suit brought by two cops in New Mexico, they were served hamburgers that had been laced with marijuana.

The lawsuit says Mark Landavazo and Henry Gabaldon, officers for the Isleta Pueblo tribal police, were in uniform and riding in a marked patrol car when they bought meals at the drive-through lane October 8 of a Burger King restaurant in Los Lunas, New Mexico.

The officers ate about half of their burgers before discovering marijuana on the meat, the lawsuit said. They used a field test kit to confirm the substance was pot, then went to a hospital for medical evaluations.

“It gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘Whopper,”‘ the officers’ attorney, Sam Bregman, said Monday.

“The idea that these hoodlums would put marijuana into a hamburger and therefore attempt to impair law enforcement officers trying to do their jobs is outrageous.”

Three Burger King employees were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and aggravated battery on an officer, a felony. They later were indicted.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Bernalillo County, alleges personal injury, negligence, battery and violation of fair practices. It seeks unspecified damages along with legal costs.

I’m not sure which is stupider, the kids for lacing the burgers, or the cops for thinking that this constitutes “aggravated battery.”


  1. #1 ericnh
    November 7, 2006

    The kids would’ve had to stuff the pot into the burgers after cooking, since they are shipped as pre-frozen patties. Not too smart if you’re trying to conceal the taste. Someone needs to explain to them why people usually make brownies with the stuff.

  2. #2 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    November 7, 2006

    Grow the **** up. Poisoning someone with mind-altering drugs when they will be operationg motor vehicles and possibly entering life-threatening situations is not comical.

  3. #3 Shelley Batts
    November 7, 2006

    Now now, I said it was stupid. I just found it ridiculously strange, weird, interesting, etc…..made the front page of CNN so guess I’m not alone.

  4. #4 Roy
    November 7, 2006

    Regardless of the comedic value of the event- there is all kinds of stupidity at work here. Obviously, there’s the blatant ridiculousness of trying to slip pot to a cop.
    Seems like an obviously bad idea to me, but whatever.

    Beyond that, though, I can’t help but be a bit annoyed that the cops are filing a lawsuit against Burger King over the actions of these employees. I understand why they’re doing it- they’re after money, and the odds are pretty good that the employees who did this aren’t exactly rolling in it. At the very least, it’s a safe bet that they don’t have the kind of money that Burger King does. That being said, what actions would they like Burger King to have taken?

    I mean, I have to believe that it’s against company policy to, say… slip illegal drugs into a cop’s food. Hardly seems fair to hold the company responsible for illegal actions that an employee took that were already against company standards.

    Of course, I’ve never worked at Burger King, so maybe they’ve had a pretty forgiving policy when it comes to tainting food, and I just didn’t know about it.

  5. #5 Shelley Batts
    November 7, 2006

    I suppose they are stating that BK was negligent in enforcing those safety standards. While I’m not sure if that means that BK is directly responsible, likely they’ll settle with the cops just to put an end to the bad press.

    Sounds like something you’d see on Reno 911…….

  6. #6 Captain C
    November 7, 2006

    Thing is, by just slipping the pot on (or even into) the meat, the kids would have ensured the cops didn’t get high from it. THC is fat-soluble, but not water-soluble. You can’t eat it straight and get high or stoned. That’s why you have to bake it into something (or mix it into a milkshake and so forth), and it’s best to sautee it in butter or oil for awhile first, to ensure that the most metabolize-able THC makes it into the treat.

    I suppose if there was cheese on the sandwiches, some THC could have been leached out, but I can’t imagine too much given the time constraint (presumably the officers didn’t wait several hours to eat their fast food meals).

    All that said, it’s probably a good spot to remember Timothy Leary’s 2 commandments for the psychedelic age:

    “*Thou shalt not dose thy neighbor without his/her permission.

    “*Thou shalt not prevent thy neighbor from dosing him/herself.”

    (Presumably dosing applies to any mind-altering substance.)

  7. #7 Fizeau
    November 8, 2006

    This is definitely aggravated battery (like putting rohypnol or chloral hydrate in your drink). It is correct and just to go after Burger King for this criminal behavior. The cops didn’t buy burgers from a couple of guys, they bought burgers from Burger King, and the company is responsible both for their employees and their products.

    This is only funny in a mean-spirited, fuck-the-“man” kind of way. Cops, whatever the abuses of some, are still people.

  8. #8 Shelley Batts
    November 8, 2006

    This is only funny in a mean-spirited, fuck-the-“man” kind of way.
    Well thats not how I meant it–I don’t think anyone is laughing at the *cops* in this situation.

  9. #9 Mike
    November 10, 2006

    The kids are definitely more stupid. They tried to dope up some policemen, who were behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, for a laugh.

    The cops, who don’t appear to have done anything actually wrong at any point in being doped, are merely taking advantage of the US legal system in a way that may well gain them a fairly large chunk of cash, and while you may view that as opportunistic, or greedy, it isn’t stupid.

  10. #10 Roy
    November 10, 2006

    I don’t see anyone suggesting that the kids weren’t stupid. Nor does anyone seem to be suggesting that the cops deserved it, or that they had done anything wrong at the time they were being doped.

    I do think it’s stupid to hold BK responsible for the actions of an employee when that employee was clearly acting outside of company policy. It’s one thing to hold a business responsible for products that are faulty/dangerous because of company standards- it’s another to hold a company responsible for employees that are acting in violation of company policy to begin with. Particularly so when there’s no reasonable way that the company could have pevented the occurance.
    It’s opportunistic and greedy to sue, and it’s stupid that that they’re allowed to.
    Stupid: lacking in intelligence, vexing, or exasperating.
    If you ask me, this is all three.

  11. #11 Al de Leon
    September 17, 2010

    This is a saddening story. I’m just thankful that this issue doesn’t stop the James W. McLamore Sholarship Program from funding education of many students. I’m happy to know that at present times, many students benefit from the scholarship program in spite of the past issues that the donor faced. I know how important education is for students, so I admire those who wholeheartedly provide different scholarships to help students fulfill their dreams. This article provides relevant information about Burger King and I’m happy to be informed about the issue.

  12. I think that it is absurd for the cops to hold Burger King Management directly responsible for the burger laced marijuana meal. The manager during the time should ensure the quality of the food but having too many people during the time, one is prevented from having to do food tasting and the crew is assured that the frozen good is not tainted (because it comes from the company’s warehouse.) I think that the cops should sue the crew involved to be the main respondent on the case. There are many scholarships like that of James W. Mclamore scholarship program or Burger king’s scholarship that I think well represents the company. When a company is socially responsible, they will not do anything that will cause harm their image.

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