Weed 101: If you’re carrying marijuana around in public, be extra careful and watch out for cops. And that goes for driving in your car, too.
Recently, a man who driving in Virginia with weed in his car got into trouble when he wasn’t careful enough. Even though he initially thought he was parking his car in a safe place, he was dead wrong.
He Chose the Wrong Parking Lot
According to police and news reports coming out of Richmond, Virginia, a man was arrested after he parked his car right outside the Richmond Police Department K-9 Unit.
According to Richmond police, it sounds like he parked there by mistake. Specifically, the man parked his car next to police “decoy cars” which reportedly did not look like cop cars.
Regardless of where the man thought he was parking, it turns out he was parking in front of a police facility.
And unfortunately for the man in question, his car apparently had cannabis in it. Not surprisingly, since he left the car right in front of a bunch of police dogs, authorities discovered the weed fairly quickly.
After the canines detected the marijuana and alerted police, the man was eventually located and arrested.
Interestingly, it sounds like he wasn’t actually arrested for the weed. Instead, police said he was “arrested on a warrant out of Chesterfield County and charged.”
But one way or another, it was the drug-sniffing dogs that first drew attention to the man’s car, and in turn, to the man himself.
At this time, the identity of the man has not been released. Similarly, it is unclear what his outstanding warrant was for, and what he is being charged with.
Richmond Police Take to Social Media
In what has become an increasingly common move, the Richmond Police Department described the incident on social media.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” the department’s Facebook post began. “Yesterday, a man parked his car on the field at our K-9 Unit. He parked right next to our decoy cars that are used for training. (We think he parked in the wrong lot).”
The police continued: “Turns out, there was marijuana in his car and when one of our K-9s went out to the area, they instantly alerted our officers. It probably isn’t the best idea to park your car that has marijuana in it near a drug dog detection training center.”
Drug-Sniffing Dogs and Cannabis
Interestingly, the issue of marijuana-sniffing police dogs is becoming an urgent question in places where weed is legal.
In general, police dogs are trained to detect a broad range of illegal drugs and then alert cops. But the dogs do not make any distinction between different kinds of substances.
In other words, drug-sniffing dogs react the same way to marijuana that they do to something like cocaine or some other illegal substance.
And this is becoming a problem in weed-legal states. In particular, there is growing concern that pot-sniffing dogs could infringe on peoples’ right to possess cannabis by attracting attention from law enforcement when no crime is being broken.
And in more and more weed-legal states, authorities are choosing to move away from pot-sniffing dogs. For example, New Jersey will no longer train dogs to detect cannabis.
And just this week, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that drug-sniffing dogs can no longer be used unless cops first establish probable cause.