Hemp and hemp products are now legal under state and federal law. Hemp is the same plant as marijuana and contains the same chemical compounds, though in different concentrations. Could a drug dog trained to detect marijuana alert on legal hemp? If so, does that impact whether a dog sniff is a search under the Fourth Amendment? And does it mean that a drug dog’s alert no longer provides probable cause to search a vehicle? This two-part series tackles those questions.
The court of appeals issued a batch of opinions yesterday. Among them is State v. Washburn, a drug dog case. An extremely compressed summary of Washburn is that an informant told the police that the defendant was a drug dealer and kept drugs at his house and at a storage unit. Based on the tip, … Read more