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Arizona court: Pot smell still can allow search warrant

Posted at 12:04 PM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 15:04:02-04
PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Supreme Court says the mere smell of marijuana can still be the sole basis for police to obtain a warrant to conduct a search, despite the state's legalization of medical marijuana.
However, a unanimous decision by the state high court says that legal foundation for a search can be dispelled if authorities have indications the suspected marijuana use or possession is authorized by the medical marijuana law.
The ruling issued Monday upholds a trial judge's decision in a Tucson case to allow evidence from a search conducted after police smelled marijuana and obtained a warrant. Officers found a growing operation with hundreds of plants.
Two Arizona Court of Appeals panels issued contradictory rulings on the marijuana smell issue in the Tucson case and another case.