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Palm Beach County law restricts Police Officers from searching vehicles under certain circumstances

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Palm Beach County law restricts Police Officers from searching vehicles under certain circumstances

August 06
22:48 2019
Palm Beach County law restricts Police Officers from searching vehicles under certain circumstances

Criminal Lawyer. Relentless Defense.

There’s something funny in the air in Palm Beach, and a new law means police officers might not be able to do anything about it. According to Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, police in the county have been put on notice that making some types of arrests are going to get tougher now that hemp is legal in Florida.

Palm Beach County Sniff and Search Policy

A long-standing policy, “sniff and search” has resulted in countless arrests over the years in Palm Beach County. This now obsolete policy allowed for a warrantless search of a motor vehicle if an officer noticed the distinctive smell of hemp emanating from the vehicle.

However, it isn’t just this illiicit herb that has now gone up in smoke. So too has this policy, according to an email from State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s office, obtained by the Palm Beach Post.

A Win For Criminals, or a Step Towards Fairness

There is little doubt that this policy now makes it increasingly difficult for law enforcement officers in the County to perform a search and seizure. However, on the other side of the coin, the law does protect those law-abiding individuals who otherwise have done nothing wrong from having their vehicle searched on the basis of the odor of marijuana alone.

Given the changing landscape of laws and policies in Palm Beach Country, and all of Florida, law firms such as Piotrowski Law stress the importance of seeking out local legal counsel familiar with medical marijuana, hemp and related laws in the event of a traffic stop or other marijuana-related encounter with law enforcement.

According to Florida medical marijuana attorney Chad Piotrowski, of the Piotrowski Law firm, those pulled over now have the right to not have their vehicle searched without a warrant, solely based on the aroma of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. It is critical that individuals understand their rights, and respectfully and calmly assert them in the event that they are asked for permission to have their car or truck searched.

Why the Sudden Change in Policy

In December of last year, the 2018 Farm Bill was passed into law, stripping away a decades-old federal ban on industrialized hemp. This Bill put in motion a cascading effect on the industry, leading many states (Florida included) to develop their own laws regarding this newly legalized cash crop. In May 2019, Florida legislature gave the state the go-ahead to formulate their own program for the crop.

A Booming Cash Crop with Big Potential for the State

According to The Birchfield Group, projections for the US cannabis market estimate that the cash crop might hit as high as $22.7 billion by the year 2023, with the Eastern United States accounting for around 34% of the market share. This has left both business owners and the state salivating over the prospect of industry, tax revenue, and profits.

Echoing this sentiment, in a video released in June 2019 Holly Bell, Florida’s cannabis director stated, “We’re on the verge of creating a whole new hemp economy with billions in economic potential.”

Enforcement of Policy and Laws at the Local Level can be a Challenge

With laws and policies in a constant state of flux, some with various grey areas, has created unique challenges for local law enforcement.

For example, this new law means that law enforcement professionals in Palm Beach County will now have to determine whether seized cannabis is either marijuana or hemp.

Chad Piotrowski, of the Piotrowski Law firm, contends that according to the law, the department will not be able to prosecute any THC oil or marijuana cases without a test from an accredited lab, the results of which indicate that the THC is over .3 percent.

Florida Medical Marijuana Attorney

Located in beautiful Miami, The Law Offices of Chad Piotrowski is a boutique law practice with a division entirely tailored to Medical Marijuana. Let by founder Chad Piotrowski, the law firm provides counsel to marijuana and hemp sellers, growers, patients, doctors and others in the industry. They also vigorously represent those charged or suspected of violating any rules, regulations or laws with regards to marijuana or hemp.

Those interested in learning more about Florida’s changing marijuana laws or who are in need of legal counsel or representation from a Florida medical marijuana attorney are encouraged to reach out via their website or by way of the media contact information below.

Media Contact
Company Name: Piotrowski Law
Contact Person: Chad Piotrowski
Email: Send Email
Phone: 305-204-5000
Address:169 East Flagler Street, Suite 1600
City: Miami
State: Florida
Country: United States