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Arizona To Decide if Smelling Marijuana Is Probable Cause For A Search

Arizona To Decide if Smelling Marijuana Is Probable Cause For A Search

By Zachary Babin - July 11, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) — The state Supreme Court plans to release a ruling Monday on whether smelling marijuana is enough to justify a search by police in the wake of Arizona’s legalization of medical marijuana.

The justices agreed in March to consider appeals of contradictory rulings by the Phoenix and Tucson divisions of the state Court of Appeals.

A three-judge panel of the Phoenix division ruled the enactment of the medical marijuana law doesn’t eliminate a legal doctrine that says the plain smell of marijuana is sufficient to establish probable cause for a search.

A ruling by a divided panel of the appeals court’s Tucson division ruled that circumstances other than the mere smell of marijuana are now needed to provide the legal basis for a search warrant.