DA appeals Pa. ruling tossing out search after marijuana odor

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 14, 2019 4:38 AM

FILE PHOTO: In this April 20, 2016, file photo, a man smokes a marijuana joint in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

(Allentown) -- Prosecutors are appealing an eastern Pennsylvania judge's ruling that state troopers who said they smelled marijuana in a car weren't allowed to search it once they were shown a passenger's medical marijuana card.

The Lehigh County District Attorney filed an appeal Monday of the ruling tossing out evidence cited in support of drug and firearms counts stemming from the November 7 search in Allentown.

Judge Maria Dantos wrote that "The smell of marijuana is no longer per se indicative of a crime."

Heather Gallagher, chief of appeals, said other states that have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and allow medical marijuana still allow searches of vehicles when officers smell cannabis.

Defense attorney Joshua Karoly said he believes the ruling will be upheld.

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