Court Rules Burning Pot Smell Does Not Justify Police Entry

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posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 10:50 AM
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Court Rules Burning Pot Smell Does Not Justify Police Entry


www.sltrib.com

The odor of burning marijuana isn't enough to allow police to enter a residence without a warrant, the Utah Supreme Court ruled Friday.
In a 4-1 decision, the court said only a limited number of circumstances create an exception for getting a required warrant, such as preventing the destruction of evidence. Smelling pot is not one of them, the ruling says.
"The aroma of marijuana must be accompanied by some evidence that the suspects are disposing of the evidence, as opposed to casual
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posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 10:50 AM
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This ruling could be a set back for law enforcement agencies around the US. Up until now police were allowed under probable cause to search vehicles, now drug dealers and users will be able to get away. It is s shame.

www.sltrib.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 10:57 AM
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It's a step in the right direction. The United States really need to ease up on it's draconian Marijuana laws.



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 11:01 AM
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Well duh, why would a house that smells like marijuana have marijuana in it?



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by enjoies05
Well duh, why would a house that smells like marijuana have marijuana in it?


Actually, you can buy marijuana incense sticks and cones at my local supermarket.



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 11:13 AM
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Whether or not there actually is Marijuana in the house, police time is better spent dealing with violent offenders rather then people toking in the privacy of their own home. Smell does not equal intent to traffic and to allow warrant-less searches based on scent opens a can of worms that I won't even get into. There will be less harmless smokers sucking up tax dollars in over crowded prisons, BFD.



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Orwells Ghost
It's a step in the right direction. The United States really need to ease up on it's draconian Marijuana laws.


Sorry but I have to disagree. This is a step backwards as I see it. the fact is it is illegal in most of the world and should also be here. You can be arrested in many countries although some discourage police from arresting people. But that does not make it legal.



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 11:31 AM
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Uh, this ruling makes no sense at all to me. I agree with Wilkins:


Associate Chief Justice Michael Wilkins dissented, saying that detecting the odor of marijuana can at times justify police entry into a home without a warrant.
"In a case where illegal drugs are being burned out of sight but not out of smell, and where the quantity of drugs is unknown to the officers, a presumption that the drugs are being destroyed rather than merely consumed is not unreasonable," Wilkins wrote.

You can smell, but not see, pot burning. If that is not enough reason to look further, then somebody's thinking is out of whack.

This will be oveturned if presented to the SCOTUS.

And this is not an argument as to whether pot should be legalized or not. It is an evidence gathering issue.



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 11:31 AM
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Since when does the USA care what the rest of the world does? Laws should reflect the culture and circumstance of the land and as I see it, there is a substantial cannabis culture in the states and it is by and large harmless. If they want to crack down on 'harmful' substances, why not alcohol? Oh wait, they tried that and it increased crime. I maintain that police have more pressing issues to focus on rather than smelly houses.

The legalization of marijuana is a separate issue, and while I'm personally for it (along with all drugs for that matter) I don't see it happening in America any time soon. However, I see no reason why a person caught smoking a joint in Nevada should face 20 years in the tank. If anything, they should lock up the poor fools who support those kinds of laws.



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by Orwells Ghost
Laws should reflect the culture and circumstance of the land and as I see it, there is a substantial cannabis culture in the states and it is by and large harmless.


That is very subjective. There are 300 million that will disagree and perhaps only 5 million that will agree. The most important issue here is the fact that it is Illegal in the US.



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 11:44 AM
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van i just say...here in the uk we have a country wide problem with gritty or glass weed, nobody knows were it comes from but according to some websites this gritty weed is government supplied
www.ukcia.org...
if bad heroin hits the steets the bbc news reports to users that it is dangerous.
no news so far on the gritty stuff even though its nationwide and has been found to contain things like fibre glass,sand and glass dust from etching and if thats not bad enough to warn people then i dont know what is..
i think the government dont want people to smoke real marijuana because it makes you less likely to want to fight wars or be violent towards other people.
as for police in the usa not allowed to enter homes that smell sweet all i can say is ..good

from what i have read, the us government banned marijuana and demonised it because the hippies objected to the war in vietnam...history repeating?



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 11:47 AM
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Shots, while I believe that 5 million estimate to be substantially conservative, I agree with you in principle. Cannabis is illegal. However, is smell, which can be highly subjective, really enough justification to intrude into someones home without their permission?



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Orwells Ghost
The legalization of marijuana is a separate issue, and while I'm personally for it (along with all drugs for that matter) I don't see it happening in America any time soon. However, I see no reason why a person caught smoking a joint in Nevada should face 20 years in the tank. If anything, they should lock up the poor fools who support those kinds of laws.

I don't know how old you are, but I would bet that if you are under 50 years old, you will see, in your lifetime, the decriminalization of marijuana in the US. Attitudes regarding pot are changing, as they probably should be.

We will never see lax laws regarding injects, such as coke and heroin, or mindbenders, such as PCP. And I hope we never do.



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 12:11 PM
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Originally posted by Orwells Ghost
However, is smell, which can be highly subjective, really enough justification to intrude into someones home without their permission?


The smell is not subjective. From what I understand there is no mistaking its smell according to police officials that is. Are you implying they are lying when they smell it or when a dog smells it is the dog lying? The answer is no in the dogs case they are trained to smell it and their accuracy rate is something above 99% as I understand. Now knowing this and given the possibility that officers know the smell and animals as well I say yes that is sufficient reason.

Why should a home be any different then a car? I do believe one state supreme court already ruled that is was legal for police to search cars if they suspected possession based on what the officers smelled.

Check that last statement read SCOTUS ruling in Thorton V United states where they upheld a state ruling where it was found.


df1

posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 12:13 PM
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Two home runs, the courts are on a hitting streak. First supporting 2nd Amendment by overturning of the DC handgun ban and now upholding our 4th Amendment protections in this decision.


Originally posted by shots
Sorry but I have to disagree. This is a step backwards as I see it. the fact is it is illegal in most of the world and should also be here. You can be arrested in many countries although some discourage police from arresting people. But that does not make it legal.

The only reason to have a government and police is to protect an individual's rights & interests. Abridging the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution in the name of making things easier for police is clearly against the US Constitution and is an affront to every American that values liberty. Fortunately our founding fathers had the wisdom of also including the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights to provide an appropriate means for individuals to deal with an out of control government.

The only reason pot is illegal in most countries is that the US government has threatened and intimidated the governments of these other countries into making it illegal. This world wide consensus of yours is a complete fraud used to rationalize government abuse of power so that your misguided morals can be inflicted on everyone, whether they agree with you or not.



4th Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Which freaking part don't you understand?

[edit on 10-3-2007 by df1]



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 12:17 PM
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I both agree and disagree with this ruling.

If the person is an upstanding citizen (no record, no problems, etc.), there shouldn't be any concern if they toke a bit.

But......

I have an ex wife that was arrested for child abuse, and charged with 3 counts of child endangerment. At the time of arrest, there was a significant amount of dope found in the home with many different types of paraphernalia. Through the divorce, I got custody of our three boys, and I'll be go to hell if the cops couldn't enter her house when the boys where there, and they smelled marijuana.

I would expect the officers to enter the home and bring justice... not to me, but to the children.


According to this ruling... where do they draw the line?



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 12:19 PM
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Why should a home be different from a car? For one thing Shots, nobody can drive their home while impaired. Second, the home is a haven and place of privacy, and you better have a damn good reason before you kick in the door. I'm not debating the legality of it with you, I know you can show me countless cases where the courts have backed the police on issues such as these, but that doesn't mean it's right. Hell, for all the cops know, I caught my teenager hiding some cheeba and threw it in the fireplace to teach him a lesson. If they suspect otherwise, let them get a warrant.



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by df1

The only reason pot is illegal in most countries is that the US government has threatened and intimidated the governments of these other countries into making it illegal.


Most countries do not give a darn what the US thinks or says they make their own laws as they should. What about those countries that base and follow their laws base on the laws of Islam, they state the use of drugs is illegal. That alone shoots your theory that it is US influence that is doing it.



posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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This is GREAT NEWS! I can't remember the last time I saw a news report about a person getting baked and driving fast and crossing the yellow line a killing a family of six...unlike well...The only legal drug over the count drug in the U.S. Now maybe Utah will have some room in the prison system for child molesters and killers and etc. I would love to have my income tax rate lowered by the tax that could be applied to weed..


[edit on 10-3-2007 by tsloan]


df1

posted on Mar, 10 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by Infoholic
but to the children.

Every time some joker wants to take away individual rights he will parade out "the children". When ever this happens I immediately know that the argument presented is pure hogwash that can not be supported by logic or reason.





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