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Drug Wars: Judges throw out odor-based drug bust

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    The Court of Criminal Appeals, in a 6-3 opinion, <a href="http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/front/1630904">affirmed a lower court's decision</a> that the "odor of marijuana alone does not authorize a warrantless search of a residence".

    Police officers were tipped that individuals inside a home in Abeline may have been "smokin' the reefer". On arriving at the residence, police peeked through the window, but saw no illegal activity going on. They then knocked on the door. When the door opened, the resident stepped outside and closed the door behind him.

    The officers smelled pot smoke, so they burst though the door and handcuffed all 4 men in the place. They found the pot two hours later after executing a search warrant.

    The Court concluded that since no crime occurred in the presence of the officers, then there was not sufficient evidence to enter the home.

    Step by small step... :)
  2. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Will the odor of alcohol now be insufficient cause to administer a sobriety test to a driver?

    Will fire fighters now be prohibited from breaking down doors behind which smoke has been detected?

    Will drug sniffing dogs now be outlawed?

    Step by small step...common sense is being replaced by absurdity.

    I recognize the fine line between law & order, and a police state. This particular ruling, in my opinion, swings too far in the direction of "criminal's rights".

    The aroma in question is distinctive and unmistakable. I favor the legalization of mj; until then, possession is illegal. The odor is enough evidence to indicate possession.
  3. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Stevant, I am with you on this one. I still have some questions about legalization, but I lean heavily that way, hence my membership in the Libertarian Party. However, I don't see Pot as more or less than smoking tobacco as far as health risks. If your have problems with tobacco, then not having them for Pot is not very consistant.
  4. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    What I have a hard time with is why the police went to the residence in the first place. THeir neighbors called the police and TOLD ON THEM? WTF? Are they all in fourth grade? I could understand if the people called to report something serious like domestic abuse or disturbing the peace, but smoking a reefer? Puhleeeeeze.

    I called the police a few weeks ago because my neighbor's dog barks from dawn until dusk relentlessly. I confronted my neighbor a few times about it, but he is a major dickwad about it. The police told me there is nothing they can do about it. Oh, but if I call them to report that my neighbors might be smoking week IN THEIR OWN HOME, they will show up and bust down the door? What's really worse here?
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Ever hear the term "Stukach"? I wonder if google would have it.
  6. drslash

    drslash It's all about the beer

    I'm not for legalization but if someone wants to smoke pot in their home with the shades drawn, that is fine with me. I think the court was trying to get these guys off the hook because someone tattled on them and they were in their privacy zone. Now, if there was so much reefer burning in the house that a cop could see it and smell it from his bicycle or patrol car, then a knock on the door would be appropriate.
  7. Ugly

    Ugly Fish is Brain Food

  8. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    One of the things necessary for the justice system to work is that those who enforce it follow the law. They are the white hats. The criminals are the black hats. Another necessary element of fairness is that all people have the same rights and all should be treated lawfully and fairly.

    In this case the cops should have known better. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to learn at least some of them did. You can't break the law to enforce the law. And it doesn't matter whether the smell was of MJ or cocaine. Its all the same principles and values.
  9. drslash

    drslash It's all about the beer

    The smell of marijuana has been probable cause in countless arrests. This situation being different in that the police were tipped off about the smokers. If I knew my neighbors smoked pot in the privacy of their home and they weren't trying to sell or give it to my kids, I wouldn't say a thing.
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Well said.

    I am a little taken aback by some posters who say that we must overrule the laws because clearly the laws were being broken.

    The protocols that were inserted were to protect the innocent until proven guilty by the courts of the law not the Policemen or their noses.

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