California Supreme Court Decides Police Need Warrant to Open Package That Smells Like Marijuana

California Supreme Court Decides Police Need Warrant to Open Package That Smells Like Marijuana

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court decided that police needed to secure a warrant to open a package that smelled like marijuana. Santa Barbara County prosecutors argued that packages should be searched using the "plain smell" logic, and extension of the "plain sight" rule which allows authorities to seize and search anything clearly visible. 

Authorities were allowed to seize package, they just needed a warrant to open it. This all stems from a case where a FedEx package contained 444 grams of marijuana; the sender was accused of shipping and selling it. Police seized the package after a FedEx employee complained that it reeked of marijuana and later opened it at the police station.

The case's defendant is definitely happy, as the evidence has to be suppressed because it wasn't searched lawfully. 

[via Los Angeles Times]

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Tags: california, marijuana
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