Probable Cause: Washington Supreme Court Rules Marijuana Smell in Vehicle Not Enough to Arrest All Occupants

The Washington Supreme Court ruled July 17 that police cannot arrest passengers simply for being in a car that smells of marijuana. The unanimous decision overturned a 29-year-old precedent allowing police to search or arrest passengers if they smelled pot near a car.

http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/files/car-search.jpg
The case, State v. Grande, began with a 2006 traffic stop in Skagit County. Driver Lacee Hurley and passenger Jeremy Grande were arrested by a state trooper during a traffic stop after he smelled pot coming from their car. The trooper searched the pair, finding a pipe and a small amount of pot on Grande. Both were charged with drug offenses. At a pretrial hearing, Grande's judge ruled there was no specific probable cause for his arrest and suppressed the evidence. But the Skagit County Superior Court overturned that ruling, citing a 1979 appellate court ruling saying the smell of pot smoke coming from a car was probable cause to arrest all the occupants.

But the state Supreme Court said federal case law since 1979 has eroded the legal footing of that decision. Officers need additional evidence that each passenger broke the law, the court held.

"Our cases have strongly and rightfully protected our constitution's protection of individual privacy. The protections... do not fade away or disappear within the confines of an automobile," Justice Charles Johnson wrote for the court.

"We hold that the smell of marijuana in the general area where an individual is located is insufficient, without more, to support probable cause for arrest. Where no other evidence exists linking the passenger to any criminal activity, an arrest of the passenger on the suspicion of possession of illegal substances, and any subsequent searches, is invalid and an unconstitutional invasion of that individual's right to privacy," the opinion concluded.

The ruling won quick praise from drug reformers and civil libertarians. "As a general statement, it's a step back from the direction that our government has been going as we're veering into a sort of surveillance society," Alison Holcomb of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington chapter told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "It strikes me as refreshing that the court has reaffirmed the values that our constitution calls for."

Seattle Hempfest organizer Vivian McPeak told the newspaper it was not uncommon for people to be arrested, jailed, stigmatized, and have their property seized simply for being in a vehicle with someone carrying or smoking pot. "A lot of people have gone down because of these vehicle offenses," he said. "Being in a car used to be one of those wrong-place, wrong-time kind of situations."

Grande's attorney, David Zuckerman, cheered the ruling, but added it was "unfortunate" it took so long to overturn previous state case law on drug-smell arrests. "I think it's led to an awful lot of innocent people getting handcuffed by the side of the road just because they happened to be in a car that smells of marijuana," Zuckerman said.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

A No Brainer... For People With Brains!

It's simply amazing how long we've allowed our civil liberties to be stripped by the politico-narco-terrorists within our 2 party duomockery system!

Right to Travel

Without probable cause & a pretext for a Terry Investigatory Stop - Law Enforcements' actions are unlawful & illegal. IN every case - there are elements of the offense that the Prosecution MUST prove. You are innocent until proven guilty by a jury of your peers. The facts exist that most Law Enforcement have NO IDEA of the law. In many cases these ignorant people mistreat & abuse US ALL & usually gets away with the abuse b/c We the People are ignorant of the law too.

The blind leading the blind! It is time to face the music & take responsibility to learn the law that (a)effects you, et.al.

We foolishly rely upon an ATTORNEY, whose job is to side with the prosecution.

Every NOW & AGAIN, the facts & evidence are so overwhelming,THE STATE BAR cannot maintain the simulated legal process, the charade, the mock, sham trial in the kangaroo court
All in All it is a shake in the private for profit courts - you will find more justice on a tennis court.
The courts today are private for profit corporations - & are listed on D & B.

Don't trust me - look it up.

These fraudulent courts are devoid from the law & move by contract.

amen

amen

jury nullification

if you get to be on a jury and do not agree with the law, you have the right, and the duty to dissent: see these links for more important information

http://www.fija.org/docs/jurors_handbook_a_citizens_guide_to_jury_duty.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA4GKG__B-s

fywnvpu

cheap mulberry purse ugg clearance sale cheap burberry cheap denver nuggets throwback jerseys As this century began, both the Air Force and NASA saw the need for very heavy LV, much more powerful than even the Delta IV. Lockheed Martin now was building the Atlas, and had made it more powerful and a much sturdier vehicle. Paul Collier, an economist who studies capacity building at the University of Oxford, UK, says that Panama's science drive "sounds very positive". The challenge, he says, is "to concentrate resources in a niche then be the quality escalator in that niche". chicago cubs jerseys china gucci handbags wholesale And there would be more shocking news. (America Most Wanted Police report Cesar Moran). Eleven cardinal electors, almost 10 percent of the conclave, will be Americans the largest share the country has ever had, even though it has historically had a large Catholic population. Total to 19. バッグ http://www.sea.org.sa/Uploads/images/mbt.html http://chanelwalletscheap.tumblr.com/ http://cheapmoncleronsaleuk.tripod.com/ http://burberrysaleoutlet.tripod.com/ http://wholesaleminnesotatwinsjerseys.tumblr.com/ http://www.theodul.com/suedtirol-hotel-restaurant-passeiertal.html http://cheapburberrydress.tripod.com/ http://replicalouboutinchina.tripod.com/ http://guccileatherhandbags.tripod.com/ http://guccioutleteurope.tripod.com/

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <object> <param> <embed> <b>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School