The court said a state police search of a vehicle in Allentown three years ago was conducted only because the troopers smelled marijuana.
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The change impacts people who need addiction treatment and use medical marijuana for a substance use or mental health disorder.
The state Superior Court agreed with Lehigh County Judge Maria Dantos that the smell of marijuana alone is not enough to give police the right to search a car without a warrant.
Bills to permit the sale of marijuana have so far gained little traction in the state legislature, which is controlled by Republicans.