PA: Judges Listen To Legal Argument On Smell Of Cannabis In Vehicles & Whether That Warrants Stop & Search

The York Daily Record reports


In a rare session before the entire criminal court bench, York County judges on Friday heard argument about whether the smell of marijuana alone is still enough for police officers to stop people and search their cars.

Assistant Conflict Counsel Anthony Tambourino was the sole defense attorney to present argument during the hearing in the York County Administrative Center.

He built on a recent decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which held that law enforcement cannot stop people just for having a concealed firearm to investigate whether they have a license to carry. That’s because, the justices ruled, there’s no way to tell from appearance alone if they’re prohibited from possessing guns.

Tambourino argued that, with medical marijuana now being legal, the smell of weed is no longer indicative of a crime in Pennsylvania. Police officers, he said, should not be able to stop people and search their cars for that reason alone.

“Once activity is lawful, that right to privacy kicks in,” Tambourino said. “I think it applies regardless of whether it’s guns or whether it’s marijuana.”

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