January 28, 2021

Pot smell alone can’t form basis for vehicle search, Pa. court rules

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania appeals court reversed a judge’s ruling that state police didn’t have a valid legal reason for searching a car just because it smelled like cannabis, saying she failed to weigh other factors that led to the man’s arrest.

The state Superior Court agreed with Lehigh County Judge Maria Dantos that the smell of marijuana alone is not enough to give police the right to search a car without a warrant. But the appeals court reversed her decision to suppress evidence in Timothy Barr’s arrest, saying Dantos didn’t take other evidence into account in weighing the legality of the search, The (Allentown) Morning Call reported Friday.

The appeals court sent the case back to Lehigh County Court for review. Another judge will handle the case since Dantos has since retired.

The police search yielded a loaded handgun and a small amount of marijuana in an

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