08 Aug Being a Stinky Stoner is No Longer Probable Cause
Good news for stinky stoners in Florida… smelling like weed doesn’t mean you have weed anymore. It could just be hemp!
Hemp vs. Cannabis
This distinction is a difficult one to get over in the cannabis community. Truth is the best way to tackle this distinction is to forget about the science of the plant and realize that the distinction really comes from US federal law.
Hemp is a cannabis plant that contains less than .3% Delta 9 THC. Since the distinction comes from THC, CBD can come from both cannabis and hemp. Although, medicinally speaking, the more cannabinoids (including THC) the better the product is medicinally. However, bad laws only allow for Hemp based CBD to be sold in certain areas of the US.
The point is hemp-based CBD is legal all throughout the US, where there are restrictions on Cannabis in many US states still.
The state of Florida has a medical marijuana system and we recently passed a law , called SB 1020, which lays the framework down to allow and regulate the farming and retail sales of hemp and hemp based products.
And here is the thing about hemp flower… it looks and smells just like cannabis flower. The only difference is the percentage of THC content.
What does this mean for black market cannabis? Well…. If the cops pull you over and smell cannabis, they no longer have enough probable cause to search you.
Just because your care smells like weed it doesn’t mean that you possess weed anymore, or it might even be legal for you to have it.
Also, law enforcement’s equipment used to test if a substance is cannabis is too faulty to tell the difference between higher or lower than .3% Delta-9 THC levels.
“There’s literally no state lab in the state of Florida that can-do testing and say, ‘this is hemp,” or ‘no, this is marijuana,’” said Jack Campbell, state attorney for Florida’s second judicial circuit.
Although Florida’s law enforcement has realized that they have faulty equipment that doesn’t mean they are going to stop making cannabis arrests. Sheriff Mark Hunter of Columbia County, also president of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, says he’s not going to stop charging people for cannabis possession.
“We’re going to have to be more vigilant on articulating our probable cause whenever we’re doing citizen contacts to ensure that we’re doing the right thing,” Hunter said.
Long story short… they might still arrest you (maybe it’s just better not to do anything illegal), but it is harder for them to convict you.