Monday, March 31, 2014
FourthAmendment.com links to this piece at the Washington Post, discussing the ease with which police can stop cars that they suspect might be carrying drugs. Among the most interesting aspects is the discussion of cases in which cops in moving cars with closed windows claim to smell pot in other moving cars with closed windows. In part:
In 2012, a stop of two women in Irving, Tex., made national news. The women were stopped for allegedly tossing cigarette butts out a car window. But because the officer claimed to have smelled marijuana coming from the car, the women were subjected to a thorough search of their car, and then a humiliating roadside cavity search. There was no pot.
In Virginia, a judge recently upheld the stop and search of a car in which an officer claimed he could smell pot coming from a car he was following, even though the windows in the suspect’s car and the police car were rolled up, and even though a subsequent search turned up no pot. Last October, another judge in the same statethrew out a search in which an officer made a similar claim. There have been several other recent incidents in which cops have made questionable claims about smelling the waft of pot. See here, here, here, and here.)