Kansas Supreme Court Says Cops Can Search Your Home If They Say It Smells Like Weed

The fourth amendment of the U.S. constitution protects citizens from "unreasonable searches or seizures." But apparently in Kansas, the definition of "unreasonable" is pretty loose.

The Kansas Supreme Court recently ruled that police officers can legally search a person's if they claim they smell marijuana smoke or some other odor indicating drug use. The court says that officers who smell marijuana can legally search that person's residence without a warrant because of the risk that the suspect will destroy the evidence while they wait for the warrant.

The case that led to this decision involved an incident where a police officer followed a man to his apartment. When she was outside his door, she claimed that she smelled marijuana in his home, and executed a search. The officer did in fact find marijuana during her search, but the cannabis she found was inside a plastic bag that was  inside of a safe that was inside of a closet that was around 30 feet away from the officer when she claimed she "smelled" marijuana.

Yeah, that's BS.

It's pretty clear this ruling will simply lead to scenarios like this one, where police may suspect someone of having marijuana and simply claim they smell it, then search the entire house looking for cannabis and hope they end up getting justified for doing so.

The question is whether or not this case will end up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Five years ago the Supreme Court did rule on a similar case where a police officer brought his drug sniffing dog to the front door of a home to see if the dog could smell marijuana, which would then allow the officer to search the home. The Court said that search was illegal because the act of bringing a drug sniffing dog to the front door of the house could be considered a search, and the initial search of bringing a dog to the door without evidence is considered unreasonable.

But this case is different since a police officer would be simply going to the front door to conduct their duties, not necessarily to initiate a search. So it's a little different.

So basically, if you live in Kansas, you might want to invest in a lot of air fresheners and keep them near your front door.

(h/t Reason)

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