“Law enforcement agencies pulling shakedown maneuvers in medical marijuana states are now being forced back to the drawing board to develop an alternative to their once tried-and-true method for establishing probable cause: an officer claiming to smell weed. Several judges, including a few presiding over an Arizona court, have recently ruled that the odor of marijuana no longer gives police the right to initiate a raid.
The Arizona Court of Appeals recently delivered a verdict suggesting that with the passing of the state’s medical marijuana law, the odor of raw or burnt cannabis could no longer be used to determine probable cause. In the decision, Judge Peter Eckerstrom wrote that medical marijuana “is lawful under Arizona law,” and therefore “its scent alone does not disclose whether a crime has occurred.”
Essentially, this means that Arizona police can no longer petition a judge for a search warrant simply because an officer claims to smell weed. Instead, the court declared that law enforcement would need to implement an “odor-plus” policy when investigating potential criminal activity associated with marijuana. Otherwise, Eckestrom wrote, the state is witting violating the constitutional rights of its people…” [Continue Reading]
“All legal protections like this only apply to your court case after the fact. You can tell this to a cop, but it does nothing to prevent them from beating your ass and searching your vehicle anyways. You will be arrested, you will be processed, you will spend some days in holding.
Then when you make bond, and get to trial a month later, this can be used as a valid defense and your charges will likely be dropped, but don’t believe that you can quote a docket number of a supreme court ruling to a cop and be let go, it does not work like that, because they often have less legal knowledge than you do.”
(Photo: Millville K-9 officer Michael Calchi with his new K-9 dog “Treu”. Jan. 19, 2012. Staff photo/Craig Matthews / CRAIG MATTHEWS)