Though it's easy enough to forget for those of us fortunate enough to live in an area where weed is simply no longer an issue, many regions in the United States still treat marijuana as a vehemently criminal offense. Coupled with the desperate need for national police reform on all levels, those unlucky enough to reside in a weed-unfriendly state are often subjected to some baffling policing tactics.
Texas, never one for admirable policing methods, is back on the proverbial chopping block due to a downright maddening incident involving 21-year-old Houston resident Charnesia Corley. On June 21, Corley was pulled over by a local deputy for running a stop sign. Upon claiming he "smelled marijuana," the deputy had Corley removed from the vehicle and placed in cuffs. As she waited in the back of the patrol car in a public parking lot, the deputy searched the vehicle and found nothing. Instead of simply letting Corley return to her vehicle with a minor traffic offense, the deputy ordered a female officer to the scene to perform a vaginal search.
Of course, such a search is not exactly legal. "I feel like they sexually assaulted me," Corley tells ABC 13. "I really do. I feel disgusted, downgraded, [and] humiliated." Rebecca Robertson, of the ACLU of Texas, agrees: "A body cavity search without a warrant would be constitutionally suspect, but a body cavity search by the side of the road...I can’t imagine a circumstance where that would be constitutional." Though local officials confirm they eventually found .02 ounces of marijuana, the location of that marijuana has not been revealed.
Though all involved officers are claiming that Corley agreed to the public cavity search, virtually no one else is convinced. Corley swiftly hired a lawyer and recently filed a complaint with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office’s Internal Affairs Division. Corley's lawyer calls the police-sponsored offense "undeniably unconstitutional" and considers the search, at the very least, a violation of Corley's civil rights.