Vermont: Odor Of Burnt Marijuana Is Insufficient Evidence To Warrant A Vehicle Search

MJLegalVERMONT: The odor of burnt marijuana emanating from a motor vehicle is not a determinative factor as to whether sufficient probable cause exists to conduct a search, according to a ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court. The possession of small quantities of marijuana is legal in the state.

DEA: Marijuana Seizures Fell Nearly 40 Percent In 2017

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Seizures of indoor and outdoor cannabis crops in the United States fell nearly 40 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to annual data compiled by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to figures published in the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Statistical Report, the agency and its law enforcement partners confiscated an estimated 3.38 million marijuana plants nationwide in 2017. This total represents a 37 percent decrease from the agency’s 2016 totals, when it eradicated some 5.34 million plants.

As in past years, the majority of seizures nationwide (72 percent) took place in California, where law enforcement seized and estimated 2.45 million plants. That total was 35 percent lower than in 2016, when law enforcement confiscated an estimated 3.78 million plants. California voters in November 2016 legalized adult use marijuana possession, cultivation, and sales.

Law enforcement seized 472,927 plants in Kentucky (down 15 percent from 2016), 74,599 plants in West Virginia (down 40 percent), 62,323 plants in Arkansas (up 93 percent), 60,658 plants in Indiana (up five percent), and 34,646 plants in Tennessee (down 73 percent).

The agency and its partners reported making 4,502 arrests in conjunction with their cannabis eradication efforts – a 20 percent decline from 2016.

The DEA also reported seizing some $20.5 million in assets during their confiscation efforts – a 60 percent reduction from the previous year.


Full data from the DEA’s 2017 report, as well as past years’ reports, are available online. For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

DEA Report: Uptick In Marijuana Seizures In 2016

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Seizures of indoor and outdoor cannabis crops reported by the US Drug Enforcement Administration rose in 2016, according to annual data compiled by the agency.

According to the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Statistical Report, law enforcement confiscated more than 5.3 million marijuana plants nationwide in 2016. The total is a 20 percent increase over the agency’s reported 2015 seizure totals and is the most plants seized by the DEA and cooperating agencies since 2011, when agents confiscated more than 6.7 million plants.

As in past years, the DEA’s eradication efforts primarily targeted California. Of the total number of plants confiscated nationwide by the DEA and cooperating agencies in 2016, 71 percent (3.78 million) were seized in California. Law enforcement seized an estimated 552,000 plants in Kentucky, 333,000 in Texas, 128,000 in Tennessee, and 124,000 in West Virginia.

Only seven percent of all marijuana seized by law enforcement came from indoor grows.

The agency reported 5,657 arrests in conjunction with these cannabis eradication efforts – a ten percent decline from 2015.

The DEA also reported seizures of some $52 million in assets during their confiscation operations – nearly twice as much as the agency reported the prior year.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Bans Police Stops Solely For Suspected Marijuana

MASSACHUSETTS: In a decision hailed by civil rights advocates and supporters of marijuana legalization, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday that police cannot stop motorists solely because they suspect the vehicle’s occupants are in possession of the drug.

The Supreme Judicial Court based its 5-2 ruling largely on a measure that voters approved in 2008 that reduced possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil violation punishable by a fine.

“Permitting police to stop a vehicle based on reasonable suspicion that an occupant possesses marijuana does not serve [the] objectives” of the law change, Justice Margot Botsford wrote for the majority.

SCOTUS Rules Police Have To Return Drugs Taken From Medicinal Marijuana Patients

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Cops take your pot?

They’ve got to give it back if you’ve got a medical marijuana card – even one from another state.

Without comment the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to disturb state court rulings that said medical marijuana patients whose drugs are taken by police are entitled to get them back.

Monday’s order most immediately affects Valerie Okun, whose drugs were taken at a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 near Yuma in 2011. While she was never prosecuted – she has a valid medical marijuana card from California – sheriff’s deputies refused to return the drugs. [Read more…]

Washington Liquor Control Board Joins The DEA/Cops In Ability To Confiscate And Destroy Marijuana

WASHINGTON:  In a late email Wednesday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board announced that it has given it’s officers the legal right to confiscate and order destroyed marijuana produced in excess of what a grower, producer or retailer is licensed to have.

The newly adopted rules also state that LCB enforcers can take or order destroyed any pot found that is not accounted for in the agency’s strict accounting and tracking rules.

The board sent an email at 4:43 p.m. with the punchline:

“This explanatory statement concerns the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s adoption of new rules and revisions to chapter 314-55 WAC. … New rules for search and seizure and additional revisions to WAC 314-55-083 and WAC 314-55-102 are needed to further clarify I-502 for marijuana licensees.”

How To Assert Your Rights When You Encounter The Police

If you use pot you are a criminal.

This is true even in Colorado and Washington, where the feds continue to outlaw cannabis. This is also true in California and other states that provide medical protection. This means the police not only have the right, but the obligation to try and stop you (though state police cannot enforce federal law). Fortunately, you do not have to help them. The United States Constitution gives you rights that protect you during police encounters. It is the job of the police to find evidence of a crime. It is not your job to confess or help them. They get paid quite well, so please do not do their job for them. Your job is to do and say the right things to protect yourself and defend your rights. [Read more…]