Sunday, June 1, 2014
Yes, incredible, as in impossible to believe.
Near midnight last Tuesday, Delaware state troopers pulled a car over for speeding. According to The News Journal, as the officers approached they noticed “an odor of marijuana was wafting from the car, combined with the scent of air fresheners.”
Hmmm. The smell of burning marijuana is easy to recognize, perhaps even when mixed with the aroma of multiple air fresheners. But the police aren’t claiming to have smelled burning marijuana.
On the other hand, unburned marijuana is difficult to detect and reliably identify, especially when it is wrapped up and hidden away inside a vehicle, and even more so when other odors are in the air. (This is a topic I cover in my book.)
In this case, a small bag of pot was stashed inside the center console, and other bags were located elsewhere in the car, location unspecified. In my opinion, it is highly unlikely the troopers could have detected an odor of unburned marijuana “wafting” from the car, much less amid the smell of multiple air fresheners.
It’s probably a moot point, as the troopers claim a “small amount” of pot fell from the passenger’s shirt as he exited the car. That would have been probable cause to search the vehicle, as may have been the driver’s suspended license and the passenger giving a fake name (I’m not an attorney so I’m speculating here).
All of which raises the question: why do police needlessly claim they can smell unburned marijuana, even when it makes them look like idiots?