ANNAPOLIS — When leaving a meeting at Prince George’s Community College one night, the Rev. Robert L. Screen and his wife were shocked when a car drove past them smelling so strongly of marijuana that they both noticed it even with their windows rolled up.
The couple had just left the Md. Route 210 Traffic Safety Committee, an organization that Screen founded when the car drove past. Screen carefully put some distance between him and the other car, as it sped off down the road.
“My wife and I were just taken aback and said, ‘This is the landscape of what we’re going to be dealing with for the future,’ ” Screen said.
Opponents of a law prohibiting police from using the odor of marijuana as probable cause to stop and search a vehicle or person said these problems are just as they predicted when the law went into effect July 1. Now some of those critics plan to return to the legislature in January to ask that it be changed. At the same time, police are trying to figure out exactly what they can do to marijuana-impaired drivers to keep them off the roads.
The Fines for Smoking in Public, Stops, and Searches law was approved during the final minutes of the 2023 session. Several Republicans wanted to explain their votes but House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, D-Baltimore, seeing that the General Assembly session’s time was about to expire, pushed the vote through. Jones’ decision prompted an outburst from Del. Nicholaus R. Kipke, R-Anne…