Things to Know About Weed and Your Rights

weed and your rights

You already know that you have to be 21 to buy weed where it’s legal. You also know that each state has its own laws about whether or not you need a medical card, if it’s okay to grow pot or not and other specific laws. But there are always new laws passing and rulings being issued that change the way we smoke, depending on where we live and if we don’t want to face a fine or worse! Here are some recent weed rulings that you need to be aware of if you’re going to indulge in pot in the areas in which they pertain.

He Who Smelt It, Gets to Search It

Yep, it’s sad but true. If cops in Maryland smell weed in your car, they can search it without a warrant even though it’s been decriminalized in the state. Why? A court of appeals ruled that since decriminalization is not the same thing as legalization, pot is still a banned substance in the state, so police officers can search if they smell it in your car. This presents multiple issues, of course.

What if you’re wearing perfume, lotion, or been exposed to someone else smoking pot at a party? You can’t help the way your car smells, yet it suddenly gives the police cause to search your car? Probable cause should consist of something a little more substantial than “smell.” One time the neighbors called the police on us because they smelled pot and guess what? It was incense. The cops were sheepish about it after we let them in but COME ON. Smell?

This issue came up because the new law in Maryland states that you get fined for having more than 10 grams of pot on you. Lawyers were arguing that if cops can’t prove you have more than that amount, they shouldn’t be able to search your car without other evidence present. Sounds reasonable enough! As many have pointed out, however, due to the Patriot Act and many other laws, the Fourth Amendment has been hacked at so much that it doesn’t protect us against unlawful searches and seizures anymore.

Leggo My Weed-o

Bad news for people who are caught with weed by cops in Colorado. It may be perfectly legal to smoke weed in the state, but if cops pull you over or take your weed on suspicion of other charges, they confiscate it, right? Well now they don’t have to give it back. Apparently the police officers were complaining that they had to store too much weed from such altercations, so the state’s Supreme Court heard the case and ruled that it can be destroyed.

The logic behind the case is such bull, too: the cops claim they can’t prove who it belongs to when they seize things like plants. Wow, then how do you use it in an investigation at all if you can’t properly label it, folks? Sounds like a flimsy excuse to keep some weed to me.