A Plane Was Forced To Make An Emergency Landing Because A Guy Sparked A Joint Mid-Flight

When you’re on a plane, the last thing you want to happen is an emergency landing. Generally speaking, it means something is very wrong with the aircraft and if you don’t get out of the sky ASAP, you could die. You don’t really expect to be diverted because your fellow passenger decided to spark up a joint mid-flight, but that’s exactly what happened this week on an American Airlines flight.

  1. The plane was headed to Minneapolis from Phoenix. According to TMZ, Flight 2408 was about one hour into its journey when the pilot announced to passengers that they’d be making an emergency landing in Denver instead due to a “security issue” in the back of the aircraft. Uh oh.
  2. People were obviously freaked out. Being trapped in a big metal box for hours on end with total strangers can be a scary prospect, especially because you have no idea if any of them are total maniacs. That’s why it’s no surprise to hear that passengers were “a little freaked out” by a guy who apparently told the people sitting next to him that he had been using cocaine before running to the bathroom and locking himself in.
  3. Things only got worse from there. Flight attendants tried to get the man out of the bathroom with little success, but he did eventually come out himself after roughly 10 minutes, just before the plane was due to make its emergency landing. Once it was on the ground, police officers and paramedics came on board to meet him, but the man then decided this was the perfect time to take out a joint and light it up.
  4. Police finally managed to handcuff the man, but not before further drama. The passengers sitting in the first 13 rows of the plane were asked to deplane so that the police could get to the man in question, but he didn’t take too kindly to this and punched a passenger trying to exit. Finally, however, he was able to be cuffed and put on a gurney.
  5. Two hours later, passengers were on their way again. Once law enforcement was able to remove the man, it took a couple of hours for the flight to get back up in the air, but the rest of the journey was completed without incident. While it’s clear the man who was arrested had mental health issues and was hopefully able to get the help he needed, I think we’ve all learned an important lesson here: the TSA is doing a really terrible job.
  6. Seriously, how was this guy able to get on a flight with drugs? Whether or not he had cocaine in his possession remains to be seen—this was only hearsay from fellow passengers—but he did have marijuana. Yes, people can smuggle drugs in a variety of ways, but given that he seems to have taken the joint out of his pocket, it makes you wonder how good of a job airport security is doing.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill