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Is a strong odor of marijuana in a traffic stop PC to search?

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  • Is a strong odor of marijuana in a traffic stop PC to search?

    So I'm reading all of these new articles discussing that the odor of marijuana while conducting a traffic stop is not enough to conduct a search of the vehicle due to the fact marijuana is being decriminalized. Can anyone shine some light on this?

  • #2
    http://www.ncsl.org/research/transpo...-overview.aspx

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    • #3
      Yes Yes Yes and Yes

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      • #4
        Likely obstacles to overcome:

        1. Experience level of the investigating officer; can sufficient background and training support the admission of the officer's ability to detect marijuana by odor? Essentially, this is "expert witness" territory, always subject to challenge in court.

        2. Was it possible to obtain a search warrant prior to entering the vehicle to search? Warrantless searches are always presumed to be unreasonable, and that presumption can only be overcome by successfully articulating exigent circumstances that justify a warrantless search.

        Consult your local prosecutors and rely on their advice for what is likely to be admissible in your local courts, under applicable legal precedents.

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        • #5
          You can only search reachable compartments in the vehicle from the driver correct? So if the glove box is locked your cannot, but what if there is a purse on the front seat or a backpack? Is it searchable even if the driver is detained at this point and not under custodial arrest?

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          • hawaiitexas
            hawaiitexas commented
            Editing a comment
            if the vehicle is dirty "re smell of weed" I'm searching every inch of the vehicle and I'm fully within case law doing so.

        • #6
          Originally posted by kylebach View Post
          You can only search reachable compartments in the vehicle from the driver correct? So if the glove box is locked your cannot, but what if there is a purse on the front seat or a backpack? Is it searchable even if the driver is detained at this point and not under custodial arrest?
          See post #4 above, then consult with your local prosecutors for guidance pertinent to your jurisdiction and court precedents.

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          • #7
            Originally posted by kylebach View Post
            You can only search reachable compartments in the vehicle from the driver correct? So if the glove box is locked your cannot, but what if there is a purse on the front seat or a backpack? Is it searchable even if the driver is detained at this point and not under custodial arrest?





            Worried?
            Now go home and get your shine box!

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            • #8
              Sure can. How else will I find the pounds of drugs you're transporting or the stolen handgun under your seat?
              Last edited by Saluki89; 02-16-2020, 11:02 PM.

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              • #9
                If I smelled the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle during a traffic stop, I would politely ask for their consent to search the vehicle, and I'd make sure that the driver understood that he/she/it was completely within their rights to refuse to give me consent to search.

                Then if they refused to give consent, I'd call for a tow truck to impound the vehicle, pursuant to obtaining a search warrant.

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