Case of A Green Tongue
Pot may be legal in Washington state, but Kent police recently arrested a Puyallup man for driving under the influence because, he said, he had a green film on his tongue. Mike Simmons, 31, said Tuesday he was put in jail for 13 hours. Now with towing and lawyer fees, he said he’s out $5,000 and he’s not allowed to drive while he’s out on bail.
All for something he said he didn’t do. “As soon as the officer came to the vehicle, he asked me to stick out my tongue,” said Simmons. He thought it was an unusual request but he soon found out he was pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence. Simmons said the officer told him there was a green film on his tongue. The unidentified police officer apparently felt that is a telltale sign that someone has been smoking marijuana.
Simmons admitted he had smoked pot three days earlier, but says when he was pulled over he was on a lunch break from work and was stone-cold sober. “There was nothing in the car, so I don’t know what kind of evidence he had based on just a green film on my tongue,” Simmons said. According to the law that made pot legal in the state, a driver can have no more than 5 nanograms of THC in their blood.
Simmons refused to take give a blood sample without a lawyer present. He said he was then arrested and taken to jail. Kent police spokesman Pat Lowery couldn’t talk about the case “because it’s an ongoing investigation,” but said a blood sample isn’t required if an officer believes the person is driving under the influence.
“Driving while impaired is still driving while impaired,” Lowery said. Simmons swears he wasn’t impaired because he didn’t smoke pot that day, and he’s ready to fight the charges. “I just feel like the system they have is unfair,” said Simmons.
Better not drive if you're going to use Scope! And by the way, the following are excerpts from an article entitled "What Causes Green Tongue?"
What causes green tongue most commonly is hairy tongue syndrome. Unlike its name, this doesn't actually refer to hair on a tongue, but a discoloration of it. Healthy tongues are velvety because of the small papillae on the tongue's dorsal surface that shed on a regular basis. However, these papillae sometimes grow without shedding and because of this, they end up looking longer on the tongue and get stained because of bacterial activity or contamination. This then leads to a different color – usually green or black. Nobody really knows why this condition appears, but too much smoking, bad dental health and excessive mouthwash use have been pinpointed…
Another common condition that could bring about green tongue would be oral thrush, a fungal infection that usually hits people with weak immune systems and also seniors. Usually, oral thrush leads to a white tongue, but after using antibiotics or eating, the tongue could turn green…
A lot of other causes might exist out there for a green tongue, too. For one, it can be related to sore throat and to using antibiotics for a long time. Other things that could bring about a green tongue are smoking, mouthwash overuse and tongue infections. Also, certain toothpastes and mouthwashes might have ingredients or dyes in them that could bring about a green tongue…
Note: no mention of marijuana causing green tongue.
Get the DWI Dude App!
- Boating While Intoxicated on 4th of July
- Can I get busted for driving under the influence of marijuana?
- Is the smell of marijuana probable cause for police to search your car?
- Can you be ordered out of your car for a previous arrest record?
- Avoid a DWI with The DWI Dude