The Supreme Court's Stinky Ruling on Marijuana Odor: What Does it Really Mean?

I have a new piece at Huffington Post attempting to make sense of the Supreme Court's ruling in Kentucky v. King. This thing is a mess, for sure, but it's not exactly the deathblow to our 4th Amendment rights that some have made it out to be.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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SCOTUS continues the

SCOTUS continues the dreadnought of cannabis prohibition. Blind Justice is deaf and dumb as well.

romanceforyou's picture

A Day we remember people who die for freedom 5-30-11

USA land of the free ? OH say can you see they took some of that a way from you
and me !
To take a way freedom of choice and put fear in place Drug LAWS USED to in slave
people who want freedom to use them. That why they have crime control them. So
people can't see or know what done to the people . So drugs can be use to abuse
the people. Steal from the drugs culture with their laws. OH say can you see
the laws are being use to abuse this culture of people that why they keep it
illegal . drugs.

Look at the cable shows on TV about Cops one show call SWAT . What their doing
, drugs bust !!! They say they hit that house two time and then the other house
next day .SWAT break in and then two doors down another place Then they show
you large bags of drugs and cash Seem they mostly taking the people who have
lots of drugs and money. That where they get the most cash., drugs. I see the
law stealing peoples money and drugs. Their so many people using drugs that they
just go and buy it some place else. So is the drug law stopping the abuse ?
The drug law stop the freedom of safe use and stops the people freedom of
choice to use drugs. Their a culture of people that want to have their
political freedom their right of choice to use drugs, They make you feel good
if use right. Saying we don't have the right to use them courts make more
money this way by in slaving . Take the drugs user house ,Car and them,. I
offer a better way political freedom Vote for a better way Carl Caswell just
write the name in.


Kentucky v. King

I beg to differ with Scott Morgan's assessment of the repercussions of this absolutely astounding Supreme Court ruling.  As reported, it seems to hinge not so much on the odor of marijuana as on the 'sounds emanating from the dwelling' that the officers 'perceived' to be 'possible destruction of evidence'.  That's a mighty slippery slope that will soon see innocent Americans at the bottom. This ruling is the death knell for the Fourth amendment, as any informed American knows that many, many, if not most police officers will start to hear 'noise' coming from dwellings that they 'perceive' to be 'possible' destruction of evidence thereby giving them all the reason that they need to kick in the door and search homes at random for evidence of a crime.  The ruling even removes the Fourth amendment protection that requires a warrant specifying what contraband or criminal evidence that they're searching for, allowing officers to conduct 'fishing' expeditions without regard for any private property rights.  This is absolutely the worst ruling that I've ever heard of from a Constitutional standpoint, as it completely and unapologetically ignores the foundation of our Constitutional rights.  It sickens me to the core that American citizens no longer have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.  This ruling will very soon be used as a shield to allow police and other LEO's to search the homes, cars, garages, and any other place on any fishing expedition that they so choose to undertake.  We, the citizens of the United States of America, are now officially at the mercy of a federal government that is completely out of control and that has NO regard for their sworn vows to uphold and defend the Constitution of The United States of America.  This is a dark day for our country and our way of life.  I'm glad that I don't have any children of my own, for I would feel like a complete traitor to them and their offspring for allowing my country to be taken over by leftist, autocratic radical elements.  There is nothing that justifies the federal government in the actions that have been taken against our countrymen.  Our god-given rights have effectively been overthrown by people who have no regard or respect for our Constitution and Bill of Rights, which were the only things protecting us from a complete takeover by our own federal government.

Re: Kentucky v. King

Billy, I appreciate your concerns and I assure you if this case were really that bad, then that's exactly what I'd be saying too. But here are the two issues that you seem to be misunderstanding:

1. The exigent circumstances doctrine applies here only because probable cause already existed (the smell of marijuana). The officers knew there was marijuana and if they hadn't, then there would have been no basis for an emergency search. What evidence would the police have said was being destroyed?

2. The smell of marijuana was already considered probable cause before this ruling. The King precedent could help officers circumvent the warrant requirement under some circumstances, but since it would have been easy to get a warrant anyway, this result doesn't dramatically increase the ability of officers to gain legal entry into the home. Don't get me wrong, I think this thing sucks, but it doesn't create the sort of powerful new tactic that some observers are suggesting.

You can't kill

what's already dead. 

Screw these fascist,

Screw these fascist, corporate oligarchs... How long before police and law enforcement alike realize that they themselves are citizens, and the same laws apply to them in their homes? They are nothing more than cheap pawns, tools, expendable...


The collection of evidence is NOT WORTH RISKING PEOPLES VERY LIVES!!!

We are going down a dark

We are going down a dark road...


ah yes, the sacred constitution that cannot have the 2nd amendment tampered with to KEEP AMERICANS SAFE. Too many morons in this country. Hard-headed, stubborn, closed-minded, scared fear-mongers (the worst kind of fear monger). Mary Jane has saved many lives on it's mental health effects alone. Legalize it for medical purposes??? Decriminalize the plant!!! free us from the oppression and allow us to get on with the pursuit of our happiness!!!!

Green Living Guide

Thanks for some quality points there. I am kind of new to online , so I printed this off to put in my file, any better way to go about keeping track of it then printing?

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