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Unruly Jet Passenger Says He Was On Medical Marijuana

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Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 12:05 PM

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A man whose unruly behavior aboard a jet bound for Los Angeles over the weekend caused the flight to be diverted says he was flying high on medical marijuana. The plane from Philadelphia to L.A. landed in Pittsburgh after he had to be subdued by flight-crew members as a result of his alleged lack of compliance with their orders.

The suspect, Kinman Chan of San Francisco, said he took double his recommended dose of pot -- two cookies with the cannabis baked in -- and freaked out. Passengers reported that he made strange gestures on the way to the plane's restroom, screamed while inside, and exited with his pants down. He allegedly resisted flight-attendants' orders to calm down, and they restrained him with a choke hold.

Chan seemed to use his legal use of medical marijuana -- he said he had a card -- as a defense, but he was ultimately arrested on suspicion of interfering or attempting to interfere with a flight-crew member and assaulting and intimidating a flight-crew member after the plane touched down Sunday.

Medical marijuana advocates, meanwhile, doubt Chan's story, noting that pot usually calms people down. Aaron Smith, California director of the Marijuana Policy Project, told the SFoodie blog, "I think everybody knows that marijuana doesn't cause this sort of behavior."

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