Police Can No Longer Make You Wait for Drug Dog Searches

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Dispatches from the Highlands

Marijuana news from contributing authors and staff writers on the latest in marijuana and medical marijuana

June 18, 2018
San Francisco, CA

Just days after 4/20 this year, the US Supreme Court made a historic ruling that prevents cops from keeping citizens in custody while waiting for the K9 unit to show up at standard traffic stops.

The precedent was set from the recent Rodriguez vs US case - and as long as the "crime" isn't drug related (like speeding or running a red light), police officers must let you leave and can't keep you around to wait for the dogs to show up based only on suspicion.

In this landmark case, Rodriguez was pulled over for driving on the shoulder.  Based purely on appearance of the man, the officer called in the drug-sniffing dog (which arrived 10 minutes later) and discovered a small amount of methamphetimine in the vehicle.

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The Supreme Court ruled that since Rodriguez was obviously not a distributor - and wasn't committing a crime by driving a little bit off kilter - they ruled 6-3 in favor of him and as a result, drug dogs all over the country can no longer be radioed to sniff-out cars without just cause.

While a victory, yes, there is nothing to say officers will not continue to "smell a faint burning odor of marijuana" and call in the K9 unit to bust people who they profile as probably smokers.

So if you do choose to drive with cannabis in your car in a non-legal/decriminalized state, drive carefully (and wear a tie!) - just while we're still working on the whole "land of the free" thing here in America.

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