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Court Rules Burning Pot Smell Does Not Justify Police Entry

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posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by tha stillz
So James is not guilty of baiting folks who are on this thread happy to hear that you can't use smell of pot as probable cause, spouting off twisted fraternal rituals of physical violence?



Where did I talk about fraternities? Never mind I will not speak on this subject anymore.




posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by souls


Originally posted by JamesMcMahn

Originally posted by souls
JamesMcMahn,

what police department do you work for? in your entire carrier of working with the police department. have you observed, been informed, or have been involved in using absurd reasons as probable cause in order to conduct a search by yourself or other officers? have you observed, been informed, or have been involved in distorting evidence and testimony by yourself or other officers in order to make make their case? please answer truthfully as any answer you give will not be a surprise.


I was a corporal on the Danville Police Department, Then later became a Virginia State Trooper. Yes, I have seen absurd reasons for searching known drug houses and that wasnt very often, usually it was a rookie that wanted to look good, and usually they were griped out by the Captain of Patrol and made to do mall duty for a month(torture). Almost every officer has at least one time when they are in court and change the "facts" a little bit, I did it myself once when a man had beaten his wife, I knew she was stuck in the "domestic circle" anf would never get out unless he went to jail.


JamesMcMahn


just comes to show you that even a law like the one that is being disputed here currently is wrong, and the court ruled correctly. "Almost every officer has at least one time when they are in court and changed the 'facts' a little bit, ..." do you see what is wrong coming from this statement, specially coming from a police officer? "... I did it myself once when a man had beaten his wife, I knew she was stuck in the 'domestic circle' anf would never get out unless he went to jail." whether it was a kind hearted, sweet loving cop like yourself, or it was just a cop, it is not up to you to make judgements and decide who goes to jail and who doesn't. you are breaking the law. im sorry, she could just as easily seeked help for herself, through counceling, there is plenty of help for that. you must know you could of have directed her to that, even a recommendation would help. there is no reason to get her out of the "domestic circle", just arrest the abusing husband. now back to how the law is wrong. JamesMcMahn, would you agree that the potential of not so kind hearted, sweet loving cops using this law for their benefit or fulfillment is great? better yet, to what degree do you believe that this law would be abused for personal benefit or fulfillment? whether it was a rookie who was given a spankin' or a non-rookie that used the absurd reason to enter into the suspected drug house, the reality of it is that they were using absurd reasons in their actions. this law is just another absurd reason, and that is why the decision of the court is correct and makes sense. corrupt cops see this as an opportunity to gain what ever it is they are trying to gain. if a drug house is so obvious, so obvious, surely there must be other ways of securing a search warrant besides smell, right? i dunno i think smokers should start cooking instead of smoking it, then there would be no smell.


Originally posted by JamesMcMahnThe departments there need to learn to use the "blanket party system" that helps fix corrupt cops.


"blanket party system"?


since you guys missed it, again please and try to keep up.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 10:27 AM
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I can't remember anyone in my department standing outside of a drug house for no reason, we were either there to serve a warrant, or there on a phoned complaint, then we caught a whiff. Its not as if we just go walking up to crackhouses all the time trying to smell illegal substances.


JamesMcMahn



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by nyarlathotep
What other situations have you "stretched the truth" on that you did not get caught and receive a blanket party? How many fellow officers "stretch the truth" and how often?


From what I have read about, heard about first hand, and experienced myself, it is common police practice to "stretch the truth". When it comes to getting convictions, they will do or say whatever they can to get you charged. This means better numbers for their department, more funding, more money or better chance to go up the ladder. This is why you need to make sure to get a good lawyer whenever you go to court, in order to shut down a bad cop.

You also can't really blame cops for enforcing the drug laws. Drugs are illegal, and that is not the choice of any police officer...it is the policy that they are required to enforce, as law enforcement officers. Most times I have heard of people being caught with some pot, the cops just destroyed it and sent them on their way, instead of bothering with booking them or something. Most cops seem to think that pot laws are a hassle, and they don't specifically go looking to bust people for weed...it's just so common to find some stupid pothead driving around stoned, who is waiting to get arrested, with a bag of stuff right on the passenger seat.

Until the policy is changed, the police will still bust you for drugs...it's their job. Many departments also are required, or very much encouraged to fill quotas for these things, so in most cases it is not the individual cop who prefers taking you downtown for weed. They are trying to make a living too, and if you pull someone over who has some drugs and you decide not to bring them in, the officer will certainly miss out on career advancement (if he does this in the long run), possibly be in line to lose his job, as it doesn't look good for the department.

So, in most cases, it is just policemen doing their jobs, and if you really want to be allowed to smoke out in public or whatever it is that makes you feel more "free", then the actual laws have to be changed, politicians have to decide it is ok. They are the ones controlling it. That doesn't mean there aren't bad cops who are either racist, on a power trip, selling drugs/working with gangs, or just plain assholes...but I think those guys are the minority.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 10:38 AM
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shoktek, you are right they are just trying to make a living, but the only thing i'm trying to establish is that the potential for abuse of this law by cops who stretch the truth is very high, and it certainly exists, as you know it, i know it, as the cop we have conversing with us has admitted to doing. it really is not about feeling more free, this freedom we have is not real, but that's something else. it is that the potential of everybody's rights, amendment rights, are in jeopardy of being violated on the premise of smelling bud, which has been established that it is not a reliable tool. if they really suspect there is bud, and it is obvious, there must be other facts, or evidence in securing a search warrant.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 10:58 AM
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I agree that this ruling is a good one, as I have already explained earlier...was just trying to counter some of the posts that are now coming up which have no intention but bashing cops, trying to legalize pot, etc...that is a discussion for another thread. Certainly the police should need real evidence (smell does not suffice) before searching our property.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 11:05 AM
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If you wish to ask any more question related to the Law Enforcement field please redirect them here.

Police Questions Thread.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by JamesMcMahn
If you wish to ask any more question related to the Law Enforcement field please redirect them here.

Police Questions Thread.


it's one simple question, you seem to be just avoiding it because you answer questions by other poster who are off topic and it makes me wonder. we already established that the potential, no, the fact that laws like these can be abused by police for personal gain exists. what i ask now is, with your experience in the department, to what degree do you think this law would be abused? give us other instances, or at least numbers of times when you had knowledge where a police officer stretched the truth? i just want to know, i don't care about asking questions to other cops, i'm asking you.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by souls
it's one simple question, you seem to be just avoiding it because you answer questions by other poster who are off topic and it makes me wonder. we already established that the potential, no, the fact that laws like these can be abused by police for personal gain exists. what i ask now is, with your experience in the department, to what degree do you think this law would be abused? give us other instances, or at least numbers of times when you had knowledge where a police officer stretched the truth? i just want to know, i don't care about asking questions to other cops, i'm asking you.


It was to a minimal degree in my department, and with the Virginia State Police, to the best of my knowledge, I never witnessed the Virginia State Police abuse their power, and I only witnessed it on the Danville Police Department a few times. We had good supervisors that actually would actually work with you. Most of the time I would call my Seargent or Lieutenant if I was unsure about something.


JamesMcMahn



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by JamesMcMahn
You hate me because I am honest? Would you rather I lie about things and say that they dont happen?


I wasn't going to post in this thread again because I contributed to the thread going off topic, but I wanted to respond to this.

I do not hate you, in fact, I admire what you do and am grateful for your service to our communities.

And to keep this on topic; who's to say an officer won't stretch the truth in saying: I smelled what I thought to be marijuana, so I entered the house.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by souls
shoktek, you are right they are just trying to make a living, but the only thing i'm trying to establish is that the potential for abuse of this law by cops who stretch the truth is very high, and it certainly exists, as you know it, i know it, as the cop we have conversing with us has admitted to doing. it really is not about feeling more free, this freedom we have is not real, but that's something else. it is that the potential of everybody's rights, amendment rights, are in jeopardy of being violated on the premise of smelling bud, which has been established that it is not a reliable tool. if they really suspect there is bud, and it is obvious, there must be other facts, or evidence in securing a search warrant.


Potential for abuse of this law is very high? How can that be true?

If a cop thinks he smells pot, and it turns out he is correct, then, case closed.

If a cop thinks he smells pot, and it turns out he is wrong, what is the problem?



we already established that the potential, no, the fact that laws like these can be abused by police for personal gain exists.


What possible "personal gain" does the cop get? Either you are guilty or you're not.

I don't see where your rights have been violated. This is not an unreasonable search. By your logic, you should be able to blow smoke into a cop's face and he can do nothing about it.

The ruling was wrong, and will be overturned by the SCOTUS.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 11:52 AM
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oh well, it's useless. anyway, in the end, the decision by the court of utah, that the smell of marijuana does not establish probable cause is correct in protecting everybody's rights. their 4 amendment right in specific. the history of marijuana was relevant here because, it shed some light as to why it is that it has been outlawed in the first place, and why is it that it is enforced the way it is. the effort to establish credibility, and intentions of the police is also relevant because it presents the case that laws like these are abused all the time, and that a ruling like this is just another step forward because the potential of everybody's rights being violated, is more than probable, it is the truth. yeah i know i break the law by smoking, but then again who doesn't, even those who are given the power to enforce these laws do it themselves, even the politicians break laws. it is just that when i do it, i'm not affecting other people's rights to exist. judicial flaws at there finest.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 12:17 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky


If a cop thinks he smells pot, and it turns out he is wrong, what is the problem?



Ah, the fall-back argument of every fascist

"If you've got nothing to hide, then you've got nothing to worry about."



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 12:22 PM
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You're still missing the point. The issue is whether or not to take away the sense of smell as a discovery mechanism.

I've already stated the case of a meth lab.

What about smelling smoke that may mean a domecile fire?

Should we chalk that up to BBQ's?


What about smelling a dead body?

Should we chalk that up to dirty fish tanks or litter boxes?

Try thinking outside the box, and looking at the larger picture. Do you really want to deny the sense of smell as a reasonable discovery mechanism?

This is not about pot!



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420

Originally posted by jsobecky


If a cop thinks he smells pot, and it turns out he is wrong, what is the problem?



Ah, the fall-back argument of every fascist

"If you've got nothing to hide, then you've got nothing to worry about."

Are you calling me a fascist, Rasobasi?



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 12:58 PM
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We,, I guess the phrase isn't limited to fascism, but definitely the words of someone who places individual rights and freedoms to a lower than the governments desire to invade.

So no, I didn't call you a fascist, necessarily.


And yes, this debate is about pot, and not about a sense of smell.


"The aroma of marijuana must be accompanied by some evidence that the suspects are disposing of the evidence, as opposed to casually consuming it," Justice Ronald Nehring wrote for the majority.


This ruling is limited to marijuana, and doesn't extend beyond that. You an't casually consume a body, or a meth lab.

[edit on 13-3-2007 by Rasobasi420]

[edit on 13-3-2007 by Rasobasi420]



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 01:51 PM
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I love this ruling. Why? I do not trust cops. Cops will lie and use their power to hurt anyone they want. I type from experience. Why make it easier for them?



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 02:52 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
Potential for abuse of this law is very high? How can that be true?

If a cop thinks he smells pot, and it turns out he is correct, then, case closed.

If a cop thinks he smells pot, and it turns out he is wrong, what is the problem?


The presence or absence of a smell at a given time and place cannot (as I am sure you will agree) be proven later, in court, except through the anecdotal evidence of involved parties.

If we are to allow law enforcement officers to enter and search the homes of private citizens based on allegations that cannot be demonstrated true or false in a court of law, there is, it seems to me, a problem.




The ruling was wrong, and will be overturned by the SCOTUS.


I disagree, and object to your use of the term "wrong" to describe an issue that is clearly not reducible to binary logic. We will see what the court thinks later.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
You're still missing the point. The issue is whether or not to take away the sense of smell as a discovery mechanism.

I've already stated the case of a meth lab.

What about smelling smoke that may mean a domecile fire?

Should we chalk that up to BBQ's?


What about smelling a dead body?

Should we chalk that up to dirty fish tanks or litter boxes?

Try thinking outside the box, and looking at the larger picture. Do you really want to deny the sense of smell as a reasonable discovery mechanism?

This is not about pot!


I dicovered a meth lab in a camper at WalMart, fro, the smell it was giving off. Would this law apply to other drugs as well?



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 09:20 PM
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This law worries me because in the future it might apply to other drugs.



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