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  • Writer's pictureEric

The Police Are Adjusting

Marihuana is legal in Michigan and police are adjusting to that.

In Farmington Hills, police are getting numerous complaints of marijuana odors, especially in apartment and condo complexes where close quarters exacerbate the distinctive aroma.
But there is little the department can do, Nebus said.
With marijuana use and possession now legal and people allowed to grow up to 12 plants in their homes for personal use, the pungent smell of weed alone is not enough for police to investigate.
“If it’s just the smell and odor we’re hearing about, that’s not enough probable cause for us to go much further,” he said. “Before recreational became legal, we might have been doing search warrants, but everything seems to be gray and cloudy until the courts rule on the new laws.
“When people call about the odor and it bothers them to the point that they can’t sleep, there doesn’t really seem to be solutions for that.”

Are there really people who call the police because of smells? The smell of curry grosses me out but it has never occurred to me to call the police when someone is cooking with it. Why would anyone do that? It obviously happens, because people call the police for dozens of dumb and unnecessary reasons. It's easy to feel empathy for the police in these circumstances.

Here's what you need to keep in mind for the weekend.

Police departments, which have long been training to recognize the signs of high drivers, are preparing for more marijuana users on the road.
There are a couple of dozen "drug recognition experts" in metro Detroit police departments who can be called on when a suspected drugged driver is stopped. These officers have received advanced training to recognize the signs of a driver under the influence of cannabis. 
Macomb County Sheriff's Sgt. Renee Yax said the department has one drug recognition expert with a second in training.
Tools available to police officers now, such as field sobriety tests —  think reciting the alphabet, walking a straight line or looking for other telltale signs such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech or difficulty coming up with a driver’s license — will be key in marijuana impairment cases also, law enforcement officials said.

Cannabis Counsel senior attorney Matt Abel is skeptical of these tests for good reason as he told the Toledo Blade:

“Just because someone may test positive, it doesn’t necessarily implicate impairment,” Mr. Abel said. “My concern is that it will come up with more false positives than real positives. A cop who wants to give someone a hard time may then arrest that person and take them in for blood testing.”

If you get arrested for impaired driving, don't say anything to police and contact us as soon as possible.

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