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Does The Smell of Marijuana Show Probable Cause?

Does The Smell of Marijuana Show Probable Cause?

By Zachary Babin - March 16, 2016

Associated Press

Does The Smell of Marijuana Show Probable Cause?

PHOENIX (AP) — The state Supreme Court plans to decide whether the mere smell of marijuana is enough to justify a search by police in the wake of Arizona’s legalization of medical marijuana. Does the smell of marijuana show probable cause? This question is being debated in every state that has a medical marijuana law that allows the use of marijuana flower to treat qualifying medical conditions.

The justices agreed Tuesday 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 Tucson division ruled that circumstances other than the mere smell of marijuana are now needed to provide the legal basis for a search warrant.

The justices plan to hear oral arguments on the issue.

Read the Phoenix Newtimes Article.