Anybody Smell Weed?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Before I do a formal goodbye….just wanted to post a quick link to the Supreme Court\’s ruling that allows police to enter your home without a warrant if they smell weed, and then claim to hear noises within your home that suggest you are destroying that weed when they knock on the door.

Who else gets the feeling that police are going to start smelling a lot of weed?


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31 Responses to “Anybody Smell Weed?”

  1. #1 |  Stephen | 

    I smell a new standard line on the pre-typed police reports.

  2. #2 |  V | 

    They don’t do it already?

  3. #3 |  JBaldwin | 

    In 1986 I was a cop in SoCal. Advanced olfactory perception started with, “the smell of alcohol on their breath” and has now developed directional perception capabilities.

  4. #4 |  Maria | 

    @#1 Aw hell, to save the poor overworked officers a step in processing, the forms will come pre-ticked for them. You can’t have anyone getting carpal tunnel can we??

    “Was the presence of aerosolized cannabis particulates detected at this location? ☑ ”
    “Was their auditory evidence of activities detected at this location? ☑ ”
    “Are you an authoritarian, gestapo-like lackey who’s forgotten that your neighbors are human beings? ☑”

  5. #5 |  John Jenkins | 

    @V: yes, the police can (and do) already do that. That’s not the holding in the case.

  6. #6 |  ClubMedSux | 

    So, Scalia’s Book of Familiar Police Quotations reads as follows:

    1. “Stop resisting arrest!”

    2. “I smell weed.”

    The end.

  7. #7 |  Dante | 

    During one of my expeditions to discover exactly what it feels/smells/sounds/tastes like to be persecuted and caged by our criminal justice beauracracy, my lawyer commented on the standard police practice of saying they detected the “strong odor of alcohol” in each and every traffic case they brought. It didn’t matter if it was true. It mattered that the judge believed it was true (which was every time – why are they called “judges” when they should be called “rubber stamps”?).

    Bottom Line: The police will lie, cheat, steal, intimidate and assault any one at any time to get a conviction. That is how they get paid, and they very much like to get paid. It’s no longer about justice, if it ever was.

  8. #8 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    So as the bankrupt, war-weary, inmate-saturated nation opens its eyes to the futility and expense of marijuana prosecution, police are presented on a silver platter the stanky skunkweed/toilet flush mechanism to bypass the 4th Amendment.

    Sounds like opposing trajectories. File under Bad Timing in the Odyssey Files.

  9. #9 |  DarkEFang | 

    Based on just what I’ve read on this site the last few months, it seems like most police don’t even know what marijuana looks or smells like. I guess ignorance opens up the ability to claim that every scent smells like weed and deserves an immediate door-smashing investigation.

  10. #10 |  Dante | 


    If I may, a slight alteration;

    So, Scalia’s Book of Familiar Police Quotations reads as follows (in order of occurence):

    1. CRASH!!! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! (repeat until guns empty)

    2. “Stop resisting arrest!”

    3. “I smell weed.”

    4. “Get Down on the floor!!”

    5. “POLICE!! Open the door!!”

    The end.

  11. #11 |  Indiana Supreme Court strips 4th Amendment rights from citizens; Says police can enter homes any time for any reason · Hammer of Truth | 

    […] any time for any reason… Some police remain dubious, vow not to step over the line… “Who else gets the feeling that police are going to start smelling a lot of weed?” BE PAUL […]

  12. #12 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    A new square in Police Bingo.

  13. #13 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The police will lie, cheat, steal, intimidate and assault any one at any time to get a conviction. That is how they get paid…

    Well, that is how they get their rocks off.

  14. #14 |  Drouse | 

    It will keep good company with other police classics such as:

    “I thought I saw a gun” and “I was afraid for my life so I emptied my clip into an unarmed man.

  15. #15 |  Juice | 

    This reminds me of a dick bike cop in DC. I’m about 4 cars back on Constitution Ave. (home of the IRS and Federal Reserve, ha!) and the light turns green and no one moves because there is someone on a bike talking to the people in the first car. I honk my horn quickly 3 times (honk, honk, honk) but no one moves. The light turns red again, argh. Then the guy on the bike rides back to my car and it’s a bike cop. Then he starts bitching me out for honking my horn and disrupting official police business. Um, ok then. Then he decides to be a real dick and start asking where I’m going, where I’ve been, and what I had to drink because he sure could smell that strong odor of alcohol on me, for sure. Of course, I hadn’t had anything to drink, but this just shows that it’s simply an excuse. What a dick.

  16. #16 |  Discord | 

    One can buy a spray can of marijuana smell in Amsterdam (and probably other places, that’s just where I saw it). Anyone wanna bet that some industrious pigs will carrying this around with them going forward?

  17. #17 |  Dave W. | 

    I think, in the vehicle context, odors that have been used to mask mj have been held to give rise to probable cause.

    So the search may not be too hard to justify in hindsight (at least at a qi level), whether it turns out you had any drugs or not. The police will give you back your coffee and your camera and your computers after all the legal proceedings are concluded.

  18. #18 |  Anonymous | 

    I read this a few weeks ago from Bottom line: time to start hiring olfactory experts and hearing experts for witnesses. (And I realized that this Alaska case was a Franks hearing and so exigent circumstances wouldn’t apply, but the experts should be able to help resolve whether police had the ability to perceive what they claim to have perceived.
    Frankly, I know that a toilet flush at my home cannot be heard from the doorstep. It’s just impossible with the unaided ear.

    “In a fascinating opinion from Alaska, the U.S. District Court concludes that the defendant satisfied his burden of proof in a Franks challenge that an Alaska State Trooper could not have smelled a marijuana grow operation from at least 450′ away from the house in the Mat-Su valley at night in winter as alleged in the affidavit for a search warrant for defendant’s house. Without that information, the motion to suppress is granted, and Leon does not apply to Franks challenges. The USMJ’s R&R is rejected. [The defense called a human smell expert, and, reading between the lines, the government’s cross-examination of the smell expert likely inadvertently demolished the credibility of the Alaska State Trooper.] United States v. Thoms, 3:10-cr-00069 JWS (D. Alaska April 22, 2011) (order from Anchorage Daily News website, all thanks to a reader from Alaska):

    Thoms also offered the testimony of Dr. David Doty (“Doty”). Doty is the director of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has published over 170 peer-reviewed articles in various fields. He edited, contributed to, and is “best known” for The Handbook of Olfaction and Gustation, a highly regarded work in the “chemical sense field.” Doty helped develop the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test, which is “sort of the gold standard for smell testing.” He was qualified as an expert on smell and taste detection and smell detection capabilities. Doty ultimately opined that there was a “zero” probability that Young smelled marijuana as he claimed.”

  19. #19 |  Powersox | 

    No, Dave W., because you had the intent to use your camera and your computers to commit a crime. Thus, they will be sold and the money given to the coffers of the local PD.

  20. #20 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “dick bike cop”

    Isn’t that redundant?

  21. #21 |  John P. | 

    They already do this on traffic stop as the USSC has ruled the odor of marijuana is probable cause to search the car.

    Regardless if they find weed or not.

    Its all a total sham, the deck is completely stacked in the favor of the state.

  22. #22 |  Joe | 

    Think of the idea that merely smelling weed (because in most places a small amount is a relatively minor crime) is enough to bust your door down.

    We do we tollerate this abuse?

  23. #23 |  Andrew S. | 


    That’s why.

    I got yelled at by my mom because I told her I was going to teach my daughter not to trust police officers. The majority of people still think that the police are always right — even if they’re violating peoples’ rights, it’s okay, so long as they get the bad guy (just look at all the hand-wringing that goes on when someone “gets off on a technicality”).

  24. #24 |  Joe | 

    The scary part is McGruff the Crime Dog can smell weed from like, 500 yards.

    And the SWAT snipers have a range even farther (and if someone gets in the way, meh, collateral damage). At least we stopped those kids from smokin pot!

    The 4th Amendment used to mean something and it has been erroded to nothing. And that is not a good thing.

  25. #25 |  Marc | 

    Why not just take the dogs around?

  26. #26 |  fwb | 

    I heard him taking a dump and burst through the door. God it stunk in there!

  27. #27 |  Salt | 

    The sound of a flushing toilet – sounds like an entrepreneurial opportunity for toilet mufflers.

  28. #28 |  Invisible Finger | 

    The bad news is the police are going to suddenly develop the olfactory sense of a dog.

    The good news is they always shoot the dog or anything that smells like one.

  29. #29 |  JS | 

    If you’re gonna do a formal goodbye you could at least post a pic of yourself, preferably at the beach!

  30. #30 |  Toastrider | 

    It’s not weed.

    It’s cordite.

  31. #31 |  Hacha Cha | 

    Except in MA? Doesn’t this directly conflict with the recent MA Supreme Court ruling? Does it invalidate the MA supreme court ruling?