Marijuana legalization bill could prevent police searches of cars based on smell of pot – The Buffalo NewsPosted by On

When police officers approach a car they’ve just pulled over, the smell can be instantly recognizable – marijuana.

It’s that particular odor that law enforcement here and across the country often cite as a reason to search the vehicle.

Sometimes officers just find a small amount – a joint or a baggie – and sometimes they find other drugs and even guns that help them uncover and solve serious crimes.

But a provision in a bill sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes that would legalize the adult use of marijuana would prohibit law enforcement from using the “odor of marijuana or of burnt marijuana” as probable cause to conduct a search, seize possible evidence or make an arrest or detain someone.

The idea is that if cannabis becomes legal, then its smell should be, too.

The provision alarms law enforcement officials, who say the change would affect…

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