There are a lot of scenarios that come up where a cannabis user is required to be wise to avoid unnecessary harassment. One such scenario is when pulled over by a cop. Cannabis users are advised to be discrete when pulled over by a cop because things can go south pretty fast if caution isn’t taken. It is highly recommended that cannabis users figure out ways to avoid violent encounters with law enforcement officers.
One of the effective ways of avoiding these violent encounters is by preventing cops from searching your vehicle for weed. There are several calm and legal ways to go about this which will be extensively talked about in this article. Read on!
What to expect when pulled over
When pulled over by a police officer, how the encounter goes often varies depending on what your ‘supposed’ offense is. If you are pulled over for breaking traffic laws or for minor car issues such as a busted tail-light, and so on, you can expect less of a violent shakedown and more of a civil conversation. However, if weed is found in your car it is a different case entirely.
Despite the fact that numerous states in the United States have legalized the use of cannabis for both medical and recreational activities, the stance of the federal government remains unchanged. The FDA still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic drug which means it is still very much illegal federally in the United States. Because of this fact and the repulsive stigma people associate with weed most cops treat the possession of weed as a ‘crime’. It is therefore paramount that cannabis users (especially those in regions where it isn’t legal) take all necessary precautions to avoid altercations with the police on the matter. Cannabis users traveling between states with different cannabis laws are also advised to be cautious.
Stating the facts
When it comes to the police searching vehicles for weed, it’s very important the facts are clearly understood. A police officer cannot stop and search a vehicle without a warrant or probable cause to support the need to search the vehicle. This means that a police officer cannot just search a vehicle because he/she feels like doing so. The officer has to establish probable cause either by sight or by smell. The majority of people are not aware of this and they become victims of unnecessary shakedowns at the hands of police officers.
Another fact that a lot of people are unaware of is that the Fourth Amendment gives all citizens the right to refuse searches provided such a person is not being charged or detained for any offense. Police officers know this which is why they are very quick to disorient people with suspicious questions. The aim of this is to put them off balance and say implicating statements that can be used as basis for searching the vehicle. Now that you know better you can prevent such illegal searches.
Ways to prevent police officers from searching your vehicle
There are several ways to prevent police officers from searching your vehicle for weed. Below are some simple steps and precautions that can help you avoid unnecessary police harassment.
Obey all traffic laws
A simple way to avoid being pulled over is by obeying traffic laws. This is ultimately important for every driver on the road. A good number of stops made by law enforcement on the road are usually for drivers that disregard traffic laws and go above-designated speed limits. This then gives the police officer time to ask different types of questions which can be used as an excuse to search the vehicle for weed or signs of alcohol use.
Disregard for traffic rules as well as the condition of the vehicle are markers that police officers on the road use to identify vehicles to be pulled over. This is why a driver that is pulled over for a busted tail-light can eventually be arrested for possession of weed because once a driver is pulled over, most officers are bound to do more than just draw up a ticket.
Avoid smoking in the vehicle
Seeing as probable cause for searching vehicles for weed can be established by smell and sight, it is best to avoid smoking in the vehicle during interstate travels. Cannabis has a very peculiar odor thanks to the terpenes and cannabinoids in the plant which makes it very easy to perceive.
If a vehicle is pulled over and the officer can smell the scent of cannabis all over the car, you can be sure that the officer will search the vehicle for weed. This is why it is important to avoid smoking cannabis in the vehicle and to keep all cannabis-related materials properly in the car.
Air fresheners are also useful in masking the odor of cannabis in vehicles but the best move is to avoid smoking in the car altogether.
Show a calm demeanor
Some steps can be taken to avoid being pulled over and there are also things to do after one has already been pulled over to avoid the vehicle being searched. And most times than not, the demeanor of the driver goes a long way in determining whether the vehicle will be searched or not. Most police officers will let a driver go without unnecessary hassle just for being polite and courteous.
It is important to stress that after being pulled over the first thing to do is to remain calm and composed. The first pointer that there is a problem is a jittery figure in front of the wheel and you can be sure that police will do their best to fully exploit that. No one dislikes a smart ass as much as a police officer who just pulled you over so it’s best to avoid irritating words that might incite the officer. It is important to keep your interaction with the police as moderate and direct as possible.
It is a sad reality that we’re still discussing this issue in 2020 despite the enormous advancement the cannabis industry has made over the years. Until the climate is completely in favor of cannabis it’s in your best interest to be cautious.
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