oregon court of appeals

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Oregon: Odor of Marijuana Smoke From Neighbor's Apartment Not Legally Offensive, Court Rules

SmokingMarijuana[StuffByCher]

"We are not prepared to declare that the odor of marijuana smoke is equivalent to the odor of garbage," the appeals court wrote. "Indeed, some people undoubtedly find the scent pleasing."

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday refused to declare the smell of marijuana smoke drifting into neighbors' homes as "unpleasant."

The appeals court ruled that marijuana smoke isn't necessary offensive to all people, although rotten eggs or raw sewage are physically offensive odors to everyone, reports Aimee Green at The Oregonian.

"We are not prepared to declare that the odor of marijuana smoke is equivalent to the odor of garbage," the appeals court wrote. "Indeed, some people undoubtedly find the scent pleasing."

With the appeals court ruling, recreational cannabis users in Oregon may rest assured that smoking weed at home shouldn't result in any law enforcement hassles.

The appeals court ruling came in the case of Jared William Lang, who was 34 in November 2012 when an officer with the Philomath Police Department came to his apartment after neighbors on both sides reported the smell of marijuana coming from his unit. One person claimed "that the smell was especially difficult for him because he was currently attending rehabilitation for drug use and the smell of marijuana was a 'trigger' for him," according to an appeals court summary.

Oregon: Court Rules Portland Police Pulling U.S. Mail For Dog Sniff Test Is Unlawful

MaxBarnthouse[TheOregonian]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Portland police and a U.S. postal inspector had no legal authority to intercept a package headed to a Portland home just because they suspected it contained contraband and a police dog later alerted to it, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday.

The ruling will likely put an end to the long-standing practice of having a postal inspector and two cops pull aside and examine express mail packages at Portland International Airport's postal cargo center without obtaining search warrants, reports Aimee Green at The Oregonian.

It's the first time an Oregon appeals court has ruled on this issue, according to Stephen Houze, the Portland defense attorney representing defendant Max Barnthouse. Barnthouse, then 26, was arrested in April 2012 after cops pulled a package from mail that had been headed to his home.

The cops claimed because the package was addressed to a pseudonym, had a handwritten rather than a typed address, had an incorrect zip code, and the postage was paid with cash or debit card rather than from an established business account, that was enough for them to remove Barnthouse's package from the mail about 6 a.m. at set it aside for narcotics detection dog Nikko to sniff. The dog signaled on the package.

Police and the postal inspector pull 30 or 40 packages a day for the sniff test, according to the appeals court summary. The dog is right about nine out of 10 times, one officer testified.

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