Supreme Court Ruling: Cops Can Knock Down Your Door If They Smell Pot

The Fourth Amendment is seriously taking a beating, and the latest assault comes straight down from the US Supreme Court, who just ruled – eight to one! – that cops can bust down your door without a warrant if they smell marijuana. Wow. Raw Story:

In the case Kentucky v. King, uniformed Lexington police officers pursued a suspected drug dealer to an apartment complex. The officers approached an apartment door where they believed the suspect had entered, knocked loudly and announced their presence.

The officers said they could smell marijuana smoke and heard noises consistent with the destruction of evidence after knocking.

The officers then kicked in the apartment door -- which turned out to be the wrong apartment -- and entered, finding marijuana and powder cocaine in plain sight and finding additional evidence during a second search.

Lexington police officers eventually entered another apartment in the complex where they found the initial target of their investigation.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg was the lone dissenter on the case, and recognized its significance in undermining the Fourth Amendment. “Police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down,' she wrote, 'never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant.' Exactly.

Read more at the Washington Post.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at May 17, 2011, 7:18am

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