Ooh, ooh that smell… Can you REALLY smell that smell?
On April 8, 2008, Virginia’s Court of Appeals affirmed a “plain smell/plain feel” search mainly on the basis of the alleged smell of unburnt marijuana confirmed by the feel of a bag of marijuana during a Terry weapons patdown. The case is Bunch v. Va., ___ Va. App. ___ (April 8, 2008).
When smoked, marijuana reeks. However, when unburnt, it is difficult to detect, despite the often flippant claims of police to the contrary.
Have any of you had success arguing the insufficiency of alleged unburnt marijuana smell to permit a search? Have you found any experts beyond Richard Doty, whose article on the topic is here? Has anybody found beneficial supporting unburnt marijuana smell literature in addition to the foregoing Doty article? Jon Katz.
ADDENDUM: As many of you recognize, the title of this blog entry is adapted from the Lynyrd Skynyrd song.