I pot the sheriff
Former officer turned patient wants you to be a safe and smart stoner
Nate Bradley was a deputy sheriff in Yuba City—until he was downsized in 2008. At the time, he weighed 460 pounds, was on six prescription drugs and abused alcohol. Today, Bradley, married with kids, is “The 215 Cop”: He’s lost nearly 100 pounds, quit the booze and pharmaceuticals, and is a medical-cannabis patient who consults other patients and dispensary owners on how to be safe and smart stoners.
You were a cop?
I saw The Andy Griffith Show a lot. That was my idea of law enforcement. My dad was a pastor for 20 years. I sat in the front row of the church. … I went into [law enforcement] with the idea that I was going to help people. I always thought it was this noble job.
Did you bust people for pot?
The first time I really came across it was the first time we arrested somebody for having it. … This guy, I’ll never forget. He was on probation for something … and he says right off the bat, “I’ve got weed in my back pocket; I’m so sorry.” … His eyes start to water up, and he goes, “Could you at least let my wife bring my son inside the house before he sees me get handcuffs put on.” … And it kind of rocked my world a little bit.
Why did you start using medical cannabis?
By the time I was laid off, I was taking six prescriptions a day. It wasn’t healthy for me, I didn’t like it. … I had a battle of conscience for, like, six months when I began using [pot], it was that culturally ingrained against me.
So now you’re a patient, and also consult clubs and other patients on how to stay safe? What can patients do to be safer?
Store it away from children. Pretend that it’s not there. That’s the biggest flaw I see, that people get so comfortable around cannabis. … The raid that just happened in San Luis Obispo County, two of the kids [who were 9 and 11] had cannabis in their system. And it happened because they had [snuck] some edibles Mom had made.
And the clubs?
Dispensaries can save the patients a lot of headaches if you seal the bag before they leave. It’s hard to prove a transportation-for-sales case when you see all the stuff that’s in a bag that you just bought on a receipt that’s stapled to it sealed. No sergeant’s going to sign off on that arrest.