Thursday, November 12, 2009

Smelling the 10-20 of the 420

NBC Los Angeles reports on a pot bust in Palmdale, California:
Deputies patrolling in the 37500 block of Golden Circle about 6 p.m. Wednesday evening got a tell-tale whiff of the pungent herb and followed the scent to a particular address.
There they found a marijuana grow house with approximately 400 plants and arrested a man on the premises.

This story has the First Nerve Bogosity Meter wailing like the siren on a Mayberry patrol car.

Fresh cannabis plants can be identified by smell at close range, but experiments conducted by Richard Doty and colleagues showed that it is extremely difficult to detect fresh cannabis from outside a car trunk or a grow house.

Now it’s possible that the grow-house caretaker was stupid enough to light up and sample some product on the patio. The smell of burning pot is certainly a “pungent” tell-tale. But if the Palmdale deputies are claiming to have smelled fresh plant material from outside the house and down the block, then the bustee’s attorney should call bullshit and spring his client on Fourth Amendment grounds.

The photo atop the NBC story shows immature pot plants—the least fragrant form of the plant. If this is a photo of the bust site (and not a stock photo) then the official story is even more ludicrous.

[Link now fixed.]

1 comment:

dea said...

i read a similar article, in which the police officer was praised for his 'talented nose' because he sniffed out a $10M pot operation. Not so surprisingly he came upon it when one of the pot-lackies was burning unusable pot in the fireplace and stinking up the neighborhood he was patrolling. Lots of talent is needed to detect a pot bonfire, eh?