DENVER, CO — An alert from a dog trained to detect the odor of marijuana is not sufficient justification for a warrantless traffic vehicle search, the Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled.
Because the adult use of marijuana is legal under state law, the three-judge panel determined:
“A dog sniff could result in an alert with respect to something for which … a person has a legitimate expectation of privacy.”
The ruling reverses a lower court decision.
By contrast, a 2016 Arizona Supreme Court ruling determined that police may search a vehicle or a home based solely on the odor of cannabis.
Full text of the decision, Colorado v. McKnight is online.
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