So, you’ve been approached by a police officer, or two, and you have a little (or a lot) of bud on you.
Here are 5 things to remember as a cannabis user when dealing with the police:
1. Check your state laws. Is cannabis legalized for adult use or medicinally? Are you eligible to benefit? What are the maximum amounts of plants, dried flowers, and concentrate you can have? Make sure you know the current laws in your area. If you’re a medical patient, make sure to have an ID card with you and quick access to verification.
2. Beware baggies. Authority figures tend to look at baggies as an intent to sell. Try keeping your flowers in a prescription bottle, air tight jar or box instead.
3. Remember your rights! Unfortunately, in all states but California and Arizona, the smell of weed can be used as probable cause to search your car and personhood. However, according to the Fourth Amendment, you are protected from unreasonable search and seizure unless there is probable cause or a warrant. It’s important to let the officer know you do not consent to a search, even if they do so anyway.
4. Be quiet!
Outside of your name and address you are not obligated to talk to the police. The more information you give the more chances you have of saying something that might incriminate yourself. According to the Fifth Amendment you have the right to remain silent. Here are some good phrases and questions to use if stopped by the police:
“Why did you pull me over?”
“I’m not discussing my day.”
“Am I being detained or am I free to go?”
“I’m going to remain silent. I want a lawyer.”
5. Be nice! A calm attitude can turn a potentially nerve wracking situation with the police into a quick and uneventful one.REMEMBER. Although cannabis is federally illegal, local and state police cannot turn you over to the feds if you are possessing, cultivating or transporting within the legal parameters of your state.
Stay safe, stay educated and stay elevated.