In May, Minnesota Timberwolves forward, Taurean Prince, was pulled over by Arlington, TX police because his tabs were expired. Per reports, he did the right thing and told the officers that he had firearms in the vehicle. As is standard process in such a scenario, Prince was asked to get out of his vehicle while the officers retrieve the guns(s).
During the process of recovering said weapons, police found a THC vape pen. Marijuana (and other THC substances) are illegal to possess in Texas. The findings prompted a search of Prince’s vehicle, where officers found less than two ounces of marijuana, in the more classic form. Taurean Prince was then arrested for possession of an illegal substance AND for carrying a firearm while in possession of said illegal substance. The latter, a felony charge.
From Arlington Police : “Under Texas law, it’s illegal to carry a gun while engaging in a criminal offense. Because suspected illegal substances were found in his vehicle, we arrested Mr. Prince for Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon and Possession of Marijuana < 2oz . " @KSTP
— Eric Chaloux (@EricChalouxKSTP) August 26, 2022
Not as bad as it looks
So, when the test kit came back from the lab, proving the weed was actually weed, a federal arrest warrant was issued, Prince was arrested at the Miami Airport, reports came out regarding “dangerous drug” charges and we ended up where we are now.
But here’s the thing. Marijuana is not a “dangerous drug” and reports of his arrest never should’ve been portrayed in that manner. According to Darren Wolfson (KSTP, SKOR North) the guns in Taurean Prince’s car WERE registered under his name.
Was curious like many, so checked with Arlington, TX police. Taurean Prince is the registered owner of both guns found in his car from May and purchased them legally. #Timberwolves #RaisedbyWolves
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) August 26, 2022
So legally speaking; yes, Prince may have committed a federal crime. But from a common sense standpoint, Taurean is just another freedom-loving American who appreciates his second amendment right to carry a registered firearm; and who happens to smoke pot in his down time.
Note to self: Avoid Texas during hunting season
In other words, Taurean Prince is no different than millions of other responsible adults across the country who own firearms and happen to smoke pot. The writer of this blog included. And guess what, the tabs on this writer’s car are also expired.
Speaking of traffic violations in Texas… Had Taurean Prince been pulled over under the exact same circumstances in, say, Illinois, Michigan, Washington, California, Montana, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Rhode Island, New York or any of the other 19 states where pot is legal, this would be a big nothing-burger. Literally.
Not only would his “possession of an illegal substance” charge go away in any of those 19 states, but so would the “unauthorized possession of a firearm” charge. Everything about his gun possession was legal, until he introduced marijuana into the same vehicle. But if the pot was legal, then so were the guns.
Oh, except the expired tabs. For that, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ forward would probably get “a warning”, a handshake and maybe an autograph to sign for one of the officer’s kids back at home. And it would’ve made for a good story to laugh about with his buddies, the next time they sat around the circle.
Free Taurean Prince
Hopefully, Taurean Prince is out of jail, at this point, and he’s able to plead these bogus charges down to almost nothing, but a slap on the wrist. He doesn’t even deserve that. Which is why the NBA, and the MInnesota Timberwolves, should NOT issue any further discipline on this matter.
Prince should, and hopefully will, suit up on night one of the new season vs the Oklahoma City Thunder. If nothing else, Tim Connelly should be calling and trying to help Prince in any way the Wolves can.
On a completely unrelated note, would you be interested in this T-Shirt?
Would you? pic.twitter.com/X8p4hvhIEE
— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) August 26, 2022
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan