Colorado court rules smell of marijuana isn’t enough to search a car

DENVER, Colo. — Drug-sniffing police dogs in Colorado may need new training if they can detect marijuana.

A ruling last week by the Colorado Court of Appeals sets a new precedent for drug cases.

A three-judge panel ruled that if a drug-sniffing dog is trained to alert officers to marijuana and other drugs, cops need more cause to search a vehicle without permission.

The Grand Junction Sentinel reports that because a drug dog used in a 2015 Moffat County case could not tell officers whether he smelled pot or other drugs, the search was illegal.

Judges wrote that pot is legal and users have “a legitimate expectation of privacy.”

Courts in other states with legal marijuana for medical or recreational purposes have said that a pot smell is insufficient grounds for a search.

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