Florida man accused of handing out marijuana to passersby ‘because it was Christmas’

Florida man accused of handing out marijuana to passersby ‘because it was Christmas’
Police in St. Petersburg, Florida, arrested Richard Ellis Spurrier, 67, on marijuana-related charges on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File)

ST. PETRESBURG, Fla. — A man accused of passing out marijuana over the weekend to people in downtown St. Petersburg told police he was doing it “because it was Christmas,” according to multiple reports.

Records from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office show police arrested Richard Ellis Spurrier, 67, on Saturday to face one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

In an arrest affidavit obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, police said officers saw small pieces of marijuana hanging off one of Spurrier’s shirt sleeves when they spotted him around 11:30 p.m. near the intersection of Second Street and Central Avenue.

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When officers approached him, they noticed Spurrier carried a backpack. A search of the bag turned up 45 grams of marijuana, a prescription bottle bearing Spurrier’s name and a glass pipe and a digital scale with marijuana residue on them, WTSP reported.

Jail records show Spurrier was booked into Pinellas County Jail just before 1 a.m. Sunday. He was later released on his own recognizance on the provision that he stay away from the area of his arrest, according to court records.