A long standing rule in New York allowed officers to search a car if they smelled marijuana without a warrant. Times are now changing.
In July of 2019, a judge in the Bronx called on judges across New York State to stop allowing police officers to lie about smelling marijuana in order to illegally search cars. She stated that officers claim to smell marijuana so frequently, that their credibility comes into question.
Judge Newbauer is changing the game by accusing police officers of lying, as it’s rare for a New York City judge to go against the grain. By choosing to speak her mind, she demonstrated the lax attitude New York City is developing towards marijuana charges.
This isn’t the first time a judge in New York State has spoken on the illegal searches. In 2016, a federal judge in Rochester concluded that the rule in New York was unconstitutional and that it was wrong to allow such searches. But that decision had little impact in the Burroughs, up until recently.
In recent years, several other judges have concluded that officers likely lied about smelling marijuana to justify searches that would lead to additional charges, according to court documents. The judges found many discrepancies within an officers’ accounts or among officers, according to a review of the five decisions.
It seems like New York is backing it’s “long overdue” legislation, decriminalizing marijuana possession.