The Arizona Desert Lamp

New Arizona Law Blog

Posted in Uncategorized by Evan Lisull on 8 November 2008

Via Radley Balko (from awhile back, I know), a cool libertarian law blog on criminal defense in Arizona. A sampling:

I recently had a case where a police officer claimed he was able to smell a very small amount of unburnt marijuana. The amount was the same weight as a level teaspoon of salt, yet the officer pulled over the truck and performed a search of the vehicle without the client’s permission based solely on the odor of unburnt marijuana. The marijuana was located in the back of a closed camper inside two sealed plastic baggies inside a nylon gym bag filled with clothes. I have absolutely no doubt that the officer couldn’t have possibly smelled that marijuana. However, as a defense attorney few tools exist for me to challenge the claim on a scientific basis. . . .

What I’d like to be able to do is take the marijuana from the police evidence and put it in one car out of ten and let the officer try and pick the right vehicle. I’ve never heard of a judge allowing such a test, but I’ll keep looking and trying. Alternatively, I’d like some type of scientific test that could be used to call into question the officer’s ability.

As Saturday night approaches, you might want to read the rest of their stuff here.


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