“A whiff of pot alone no longer airtight probable cause for police to search cars in several states”

shallow focus photography of cannabis plant

In other states where marijuana is legal, the rules regarding searches are being hammered out in the courts. In Maryland, for instance, where 10 grams or less of marijuana has been decriminalized, an appellate court concluded in April that the odor of marijuana by itself does not provide reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, and thus the search of a pedestrian on this basis was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.

The Colorado Supreme Court threw out a drug conviction in 2019 because police had no justification for having a dog sniff the defendant’s truck, given that they had no reasonable suspicion a crime was being committed now that marijuana is legal there.

Yet last year, the high court in Michigan said evidence of illegal guns and drugs should not be suppressed, saying the odor of marijuana was sufficient to justify a warrantless search, and that the defendant initially denying having any made the officer believe he had more than the 2.5 ounces allowed by law.

And in March in Florida, where only medical marijuana has been decriminalized, an appellate court ruled the smell of marijuana was enough to justify a search, particularly if the vehicle was being driven recklessly or erratically.

via CrimProf Blog https://ift.tt/31qUjQa

June 29, 2021 at 03:51PM