MD Police Can Search Vehicle If They Smell Marijuana

Jan 23, 2017

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Although possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized in Maryland, the state's highest court has ruled that police can still search a car without a warrant if they smell pot.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Court of Appeals issued the unanimous opinion on Friday. Judge Shirley Watts wrote that "decriminalization is not synonymous with legalization, and possession of marijuana remains unlawful."

The General Assembly decriminalized pot in 2014. People caught with less than 10 grams are now issued a $100 ticket. The fine jumps to $500 for repeat offenses.

The court case was brought on behalf of three men whose vehicles were searched. In each case, police found more drugs after smelling marijuana.