Colorado’s marijuana legalization laws have had the unintended side effect of causing problems for Colorado residents, with some drivers claiming that out-of-state are police are profiling their license plates in the search for those bringing legal weed out of the state.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, Colorado’s marijuana taxes are expected to bring in nearly $100 million in tax revenue this year, a figure that exceeds the state’s original expectations by 40 percent. Advocates for legal weed are also saying law enforcement officials need to eat crow, since property crimes in Denver alone fell 14.6 percent and violent crimes dropped by 2.4 percent when the very opposite was predicted before the laws were passed.
A Colorado retiree named Darien Roseen claims a police officer in Idaho pulled him over while searching for marijuna:
“[The Trooper] did not initially give Roseen a reason for contacting him, but eventually said that Roseen failed to signal before he exited and that he bumped into two curbs at the rest stop” The trooper then asked Roseen why his eyes seemed glassy and ask him if he was transporting anything inappropriate. Roseen told the trooper he had prescription meds with him, at which point the officer asked him about the last time he smoked marijuana. [Roseen] was offended by his treatment — assuming that not only was he a user but that he was carrying marijuana into Idaho just based on the fact that he has Colorado license plates.”
Mr. Roseen claims he has never consumed marijuana in his life and he’s filing a lawsuit based upon license plate profiling in addition to civil rights violations.
But this type of incident is apparently not an isolated case. Other Colorado drivers have made similar complaints about police profiling their license plates when driving in states like Illinois and Missouri. One incident involved a 57-year-old man named David Adkins and a girlfriend named Kay Harmon who were pulled over by an undercover cop in Nevada due to suspicion of drug possession. The couple claimed the cop “didn’t ask for a license, registration, nothing,” and they believed the officer was on the hunt for marijuana legally purchased in Colorado:
“There was no reason for him to pull us over. Only because we had a Colorado license plate and he stuck his head in there and started sniffing as soon as he came up to the car.”
It’s possible that other Colorado driver may join Roseen in filing lawsuits based upon the Fourth Amendment. Mark Bederow, a New York-based criminal defense attorney, says federal law allows a police officer to “stop a vehicle as long as he has probable cause to believe that a traffic violation occurred, even if his subjective intent is to seek evidence of drug possession for which he lacks probable cause.” But if cops are literally profiling Colorado drivers because of the state’s marijuana legalization law then the police are breaking the law:
“If law-abiding Colorado drivers are being stopped without cause because officers have a ‘hunch’ that the driver possessed drugs, then the amount of lawsuits will likely increase greatly. License plate profiling’ and detaining a motorist merely because his vehicle is registered in Colorado is plainly unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment.”
What do you think of the accusations of legal weed causing police to profile Colorado drivers?