Pot pens lead to misdemeanor charges for Saugerties man

Pot might be decriminalized in New York, but area marijuana smokers should be aware that possession of weed vaporizer pens filled with concentrated THC can incur a misdemeanor charge. Zachary T. Ham of Saugerties, 24, was charged with seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance when he was found in possession of multiple pen cartridges in the process of a routine traffic stop on June 8; the same charge can be attained by possessing a hypodermic needle loaded with heroin.

According to police, officers established that Ham was “operating under the influence of drugs” upon pulling him over on Glasco Turnpike. He was also charged with driving with ability impaired by drugs, a misdemeanor, and the violation of unlawful possession of marijuana (the charge that would be elicited by the discovery of under 25 grams of old-fashioned marijuana plant matter).

“Marijuana is just a violation — once you concentrate it, the effects of the THC are much more potent, [so] it falls under the category of a controlled substance,” said Saugerties Police Chief Joe Sinagra of the distinction. “I think, prior to the vape pen, [arrests involving] the concentrated THC [weren’t] that prominent. Now, because vape pens are so accessible, we see a high number of high school kids getting these vape pens. We’re starting to have more encounters with individuals in possession of it. There’s a concerning increase in the number of individuals that are using vapes throughout New York State.”


After processing at police headquarters, Ham was released to a third party; he will appear in town court later this month to answer his charges.

There are 7 comments

  1. Terry

    Remember kids, You have to give NY their cut if you want to smoke or vape here. MMJ card would solve this problem. Just have to cut NYS in on your fun or they get mad.

  2. The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers

    “…old fashioned marijuana plant matter.”?

    Never thought we’d live to see the day!

  3. Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

    Click your Bic.

    Dont bogart that joint my friend
    Pass it over to me
    This one is burnt to the end
    Come on and be a friend

    Roll another one,
    just like the other one

    Down to seeds and stems again

  4. Jp

    Dont feel sorry for him. He was operating a vehicle when he was caught. Just like drinking. Do it at home, period. No reason to be behind the wheel. I drink but dont drive. It goes the same for drugs. Dumb move!

    1. The Flying Burrito Brothers

      “Never carry more than you can eat.”

      From the song “The Hippie Boy”

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