Fourth Amendment before U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Police smelling marijuana coming from behind an apartment door can enter the home without a warrant in some instances, some U.S. Supreme Court Justices said.
The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday heard arguments that could have Fourth Amendment implications, The Washington Post reported.
The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Hollis King, saying police didn't have the right to kick his door down after smelling marijuana coming from the apartment.
Police had announced their presence, and when they heard flushing sounds decided evidence was being destroyed and entered the apartment.
The case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday. Justice Elena Kagan found some problems with the King case.
"One of the points of the Fourth Amendment is to ensure that when people search your home, they have a warrant, and of course there are exceptions to that," Kagan said.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also found problems with the Kentucky search.
"They (could) go to the apartment building and ... sniff at every door," Ginsburg proposed, to find cause to search.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor also had issues with the case. She said in many instances police could enter without a warrant if they thought drugs were being used on the other side because police could always say they feared the evidence would be destroyed.
Justice Antonin Scalia said police did nothing wrong in the Kentucky case.
"Everything done was perfectly lawful," Scalia said. "It's unfair to the criminal? Is that the problem? I really don't understand the problem."
Scalia said law enforcement has many constraints "and the one thing that it has going for it is that criminals are stupid."
Bradford Cannabis Raid Finds Guinea Pig Heater
Police swooped on a suspected cannabis factory at a house in Bradford f only to find the suspicious heat source was for two guinea pigs. Officers arrived last week after the West Yorkshire Police helicopter detected a hotspot on the roof of the garage in Huddersfield Road, Odsal. A hotspot is often a sign of specialist heating systems used to grow cannabis. Police have apologised for any distress the raid caused to the guinea pigs' owner, 42-year-old Pam Hardcastle. Mrs Hardcastle, a learning mentor at Bradford Moor primary school, said: "On Wednesday I'd gone to work and got a call from my mum who said you need to come home. "The police came on the phone and said: 'We think you're growing cannabis in your garage. "I said: 'No, it's a heater to keep my guinea pigs warm because it's been so cold. "I went home and there were two policemen who came in the house with me and I've got a big picture of Bob Marley with cannabis growing behind him so I thought: 'Oh my God, don't turn round'."
'Unfortunate it was me' Mrs Hardcastle said that despite the embarrassment the incident had caused, she did not criticise the police. "I think the police do a really good job and I do understand why they did it," she said. "It 's just unfortunate it was me." Insp Darren Brown, of the Queensbury, Royds and Wibsey neighbourhood policing team, said: "A majority of operations of this nature are intelligence-based and often rely upon swift action.
"Due to the location of the garage, we could not make further observations without alerting the occupants. "On this occasion, it transpired that the significant heat source coming from the property was not connected to the production of cannabis. "Officers who attended explained the full circumstances to the occupant and discussed any damage. "I would like to apologise for the distress this may have caused. "However, I would point out that these tactics are essential in tackling drugs across the district." He reassured Mrs Hardcastle that her details would not be kept on police records.
Lancashire Police Uncover Cannabis in Blackpool
A Cannabis factory with an estimated street value of £14,500 was uncovered by police in a former Blackpool hotel. Officers made the discovery at the property on Kirby Road, previously the Glendene Hotel after a resident reported a strong smell coming from the building. Around 290 plants were discovered in the property, spread out over four bedrooms. Lighting and cultivation equipment was also found. Det Sgt Jane Atkinson from Blackpool CID said: “We discovered this cannabis factory thanks to information we received from a member of the public and this, once again, highlights the importance of the public working with us to pass on information about suspicious activity.
“As a result of this discovery, a substantial amount of cannabis has now been taken off the streets of Blackpool. “We will not tolerate the supply or use of drugs in our communities. We will continue to take robust action against those who are thought to be involved in drugs and I urge residents to pass any suspicions about drugs on to the police.” No arrests have been made in connection with the cannabis factory but officers continue to make enquiries
P For 'Losers' But Cannabis 'Hardly Illegal'
Young people believe the drug methamphetamine, or P, is for "losers" but see little difference between cannabis, ecstasy, tobacco and alcohol, according a survey. The UMR Research work on a small group - about 20 young people aged between 12 and 17 - was carried out for anti-P group the Stellar Trust, and aimed to gain an understanding of young people's attitudes to the drug and identify initiatives that would be most effective in deterring its use amongst NZ youth. It showed media stories about the links to horror crime and health damage were putting young people off the drug, Stellar chief executive Mike Williams said. The survey found party pills had gone out of favour since they became illegal while ecstasy was seen mostly as a party drug used by older teens.
Heroin, cocaine and P were viewed as the most serious drugs and were the least used. Key deterrents to trying P were addictive behaviour, its impact on appearance, the negative profile of users and it was viewed as a heavy duty drug. The teens also knew it could change personality - make you angry, steal, destroy families and a user's appearance. Many of the teens were relaxed about drug use and not affected by the death of 16-year-old King's College student James Webster after he had knocked back a bottle of vodka. His death was seen as a chance to crack down on teens. About half had tried marijuana, which was "hardly viewed as illegal" and was widely available and prevalent in schools.
But despite the dim view of P, the tolerant attitude to cannabis and ecstasy meant they remained gateways to harder drugs, said former detective and managing director of drug education company Methcon Group Dale Kirk. Research clearly showed a link between regular cannabis use and the subsequent use of harder drugs. Regular cannabis users were 60 times more likely to move on to these harder drugs, he said. Mr Kirk said it was worrying but not at all surprising that an attitude of tolerance to cannabis and other drugs remained. "Sadly the romantic notion of cannabis as being a soft drug remains as strong as ever. "This is hardly surprising given the home environment and communities that many young people find themselves growing up in where cannabis is accepted by adult role models as OK and used on a daily basis."
Glasgow Drug Trafficker Ordered To Pay £30,000
John McQuillan became a target for a surveillance operation by officers of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement agency. McQuillan, 46, was watched as he left his home in Colintraive Avenue in Glasgow on July 5 last year and drove to meet up with another man. He was later spotted arriving at an address in the city's Tillycairn Drive. Police moved in and found McQuillan in a converted garage where he was cutting plastic covering a package with a knife. Bars of cannabis resin were found scattered over a sofa.
A total of 482 quarter kilo bars of the Class B drug were recovered along with a further 124 smaller blocks. The haul was estimated to be worth a maximum of £381,000 if broken down into smaller street deals. McQuillan later admitted being concerned in the supply of the drug and was jailed for 86 months last year. The Crown also raised an action against him to claw back any proceeds of crime.
On Monday, McQuillan's counsel Mark Moir told Lord Pentland at the High Court in Edinburgh that a settlement had now been reached and the judge agreed that a confiscation order should be made for the sum of £30,000. Advocate depute Barry Divers said that figure represented McQuillan's "realisable assets". He was given six months to pay the sum.
Idiot alert: Father Takes Photo Of Toddler Bagging Marijuana
ORTLAND, Tenn. – A father in Portland was arrested after police said he let his child play with marijuana. Officers found photos of the incident on his phone.
Officers responded to the home of 30-year-old Christopher Bradley in Portland for a domestic dispute after his estranged wife called them. Police said she is the one who found the pictures on Bradley’s cell phone
During the investigation, several photos where found on Bradley’s phone of his 2-year-old son standing at a table packaging marijuana.
Photos showed the child placing marijuana into a jar. The pictures also showed rolling paper and a lighter on the table.
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