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Fairfield man's pot-smoking at hospital set off fire alarm, police say

Suspect was in visitor lodging area, visiting hospitalized family member

David Wayne Buch
David Wayne Buch

A Fairfield man set off a smoke alarm Thursday at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City when he began smoking a marijuana pipe, police said.

According to a report, at 9:25 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to 500 E Market St. for a fire call, but upon their arrival were notified by hospital staff an alarm had been set off because David W. Buch, 49, was smoking marijuana in the visitors lodging area.

Police said they could smell a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the overnight lodging area, where Buch was staying while a family member was in the hospital, according to spokesperson Denice Connell.

Hospital staff turned the bag of marijuana and pipe over to police, who said Buch admitted that the pipe was his and that he had been smoking it, reports show.

Buch is charged with possession of a controlled substance, a serious misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

He was released from the Johnson County Jail Friday morning.

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