Smell (Two Steps Back, One Step Forward)

It was reported this morning that Seattle Police seized a number of medical marijuana plants and medical records. The Seattle Times reports:

“The search occurred Tuesday after a nearby police bicycle officer reported the smell of marijuana…no one was arrested but officers seized about 12 ounces of marijuana in addition to the patient files and a computer…The police “have a heck of a lot of patient records I don’t think they should have,” said Douglas Hiatt, a Seattle attorney who specialized in medical marijuana cases. “For one thing, those records are protected under federal privacy laws. If you’re a medical marijuana patient, you don’t want the police to know who you are or where you live, and this is why – because you don’t get treated very well.”

Also today, State v Gande. A decision that was based on Constitutional grounds. 

“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.”

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