Andre Shumake was pulled over in California in 2017 for not having a front license plate. The cop smelled weed and asked if they had any on them. Shumake said he did. The officer searched the car and found the weed. They also found a loaded pistol under the driver’s seat and charged him for it.
A judge originally ruled that the search was legal, but an appellate panel recently overruled the decision. The charges were reversed because they said the cops would have never found the gun if it wasn’t for the weed smell, which isn’t enough to justify the search of a car. The smell alone is not evidence of a crime.
While it’s still not legal to smoke and drive, more and more states have made similar judgments about probable cause and warrantless searches of cars. Federal laws complicate these situations, but, as of right now, medical card use is legal in 33 states, and weed is legal for people over the age of 21 in 11 states.