Questions Swirl Over Enforcement of MD Pot Law
Updated: Friday, July 11 2014, 05:48 PM EDT
The new law which decriminalizes marijuana in Maryland doesn't hit the books for another three months but already there's a flurry of questions about how to enforce it.
Come October 1 possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana in Maryland will not be a crime, but law enforcement agencies are struggling over how to detect the legal amount of pot from the illegal.
In Massachusetts, many officers are relying on their sense of smell. But in a landmark decision this week the highest court in Massachusetts ruled that a police officer smelling marijuana does not give them the right to search the vehicle or stop someone on the street.
The Massachusetts decision differs from what Maryland's assistant attorney general wrote in May; "It is my view that the smell of marijuana would continue to be a factor...that may justify a search."
Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Muffoletto believes Maryland may soon face a similar challenge when it comes to searches -- the smell test may not be the final test.
“October 1st I think you'll have a lot of officers walking a line as to whether they can objectively indicate they have the appropriate probable cause to do a further search,” Muffoletto said.