Despite the decriminalization of marihuana, it is still “contraband” and the odor of marihuana provides probable cause for a police officer to search a vehicle so holds the Maryland Court of Appeals in Robinson v. State (http://www.mdcourts.gov/opinions/coa/2017/37a16.pdf). The Court rejected the argument that the mere smell of marihuana does not provide probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed (i.e. that more than 10 grams of marihuana is being possessed). Probable cause to believe that a vehicle contains either “contraband” or evidence of crime is a proper and lawful basis upon which to justify a vehicle search under the Carroll doctrine (Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132 (1925)).
Odor of Marihuana is Still Probable Cause to Search Vehicle
Over 45 years of trial experience as a federal and state prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney