Pot smell not enough to search car, Colorado court rules

The indication by a drug-sniffing police dog to the presence of controlled substances in a vehicle by itself is not enough to constitute probable cause for police to search that vehicle, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

In a precedent-setting case involving a Moffat County resident, a three-judge panel agreed that a police officer needs more cause to search a vehicle without permission from its owner.

That’s because it could be legal marijuana, the court ruled.

“Because Amendment 64 legalized possession for personal use of one ounce or less of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older in Colorado, it is no longer accurate to say, at least as a matter of state law, that an alert by a dog which can detect marijuana — but not specific amounts — can reveal only the presence of ‘contraband,’” Judge Daniel Dailey wrote in the ruling, which was joined by Judges Michael Berger and Jerry Jones.

Read more here: http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/court-scent-not-enough-for-car-searc/

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