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Ruling: Smell of marijuana can’t be only basis for searches

TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona court ruling says legalization of medical marijuana means the smell of pot cannot be the only basis for obtaining a search warrant to investigate suspected illegal activity.

Ruling that a judge in Tucson shouldn’t have allowed evidence from a search, the state Court of Appeals overturned a man’s convictions on marijuana and child abuse charges.

The man was arrested after police obtained a warrant to search a warehouse after smelling marijuana. Police found pot plants, growing equipment and evidence that a young child lived there.

The ruling Monday said voters’ legalization of possession, cultivation and use of medical marijuana means circumstances other than mere possession now determines whether there’s a legal basis for a search.

Spokesman Ryan Anderson said the Attorney General’s Office is considering whether to appeal.



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