In case after infuriating case, the Free Thought Project has reported on instances of horrifying rights violations all stemming from a police officer claiming to smell a plant. We have seen both women and men sodomized and raped — often times in public — as cops search for this smell. We have seen entire families held hostage, women and children beaten up, rampant sexual assault, and all of it stemming from a plant smell. Now, police are arming themselves with a "smell amplifier" to go after those who'd dare grow or partake in a plant—in a state where recreational marijuana is legal.
In December 2018, the state of Michigan legalized recreational marijuana. According to the city council in the town of Bessemer, however, the most common complaint from residents in the town is the smell of weed. Despite it being legal, cops are now arming themselves with new smell technology to go after those who dare partake in a legal plant in the legal state.
The Daily Globe reported that the Michigan town of Bessemer has voted to spend approximately $3,400 to purchase a device to smell marijuana plants and train police officers in its use.
"The city of Bessemer stinks," council member Linda Nelson said. "You can smell marijuana everywhere. We've got people who can't sit in their backyard because the smell from their neighbor is so bad."
Council Member William McDonald added, "It's time we do something," even though he said the cost of the equipment posed some concern for him, the Globe reported.
As Newsweek reports:
Michigan law enforcement has been struggling with the ramifications of marijuana use since it was legalized. In November 2019, Newsweek reported that state police were still receiving calls about marijuana smoke and odor but lacked the jurisdiction to investigate them unless they suspect that it was being consumed by underage users.
While it is legal to grow marijuana in Michigan, the state's statute mandates that the plants cannot be visible to the naked eye or grown outside of an enclosed, secure area.
This move by the city to acquire a smell device to catch "stinky" marijuana users and growers highlights a problem that still plagues the United States — the bureaucracy's addiction to the war on drugs. A recent article out of Forbes pointed out just how bad this problem has become.
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Despite an increasing number of states legalizing marijuana, arrests for the beneficial plant continue to increase. As Forbes reports:
According to new data released by the FBI in October, there were 663,367 marijuana arrests in the country in 2018.
That's one every 48 seconds, and represents an uptick from the 659,700 cannabis busts American police made in 2017, and from 2016's total of 653,249.
The jump comes despite the fact that there are now 11 states where marijuana is legal for adults over 21.
“Americans should be outraged that police departments across the country continue to waste tax dollars and limited law enforcement resources on arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for simple marijuana possession,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. We agree.
Now, cops are reverting back to smell technology they used when weed was illegal nationwide. This is a dangerous move in the wrong direction for many reasons.
As TFTP reported in June, an infuriating video was shared with the Free Thought Project showing North Carolina cops violate the rights of multiple innocent people because one of them smelled marijuana. No marijuana was found, but that didn't stop cops from holding a family and their guests hostage for over an hour to look for it.
Also in June, TFTP reported the case of Erica Reynolds, 37, who is seeking $12.5 million in damages accusing police of sexual assault and battery, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The reason for this sexual assault and battery? Cops smelled weed.
Just last September, TFTP reported on another case in which Chanel Bates, 26, was leaving a restaurant when she was targeted by police who claimed they smelled marijuana. The officers' olfactory intuition was then used as the justification to detain, savagely beat, and kidnap the entirely innocent woman who had caused harm to no one. The infuriating and disturbing scene was captured on video.
There is at least one state moving in the right direction, however. As TFTP reported in August, the violence associated with cops claiming to smell weed has gotten so out of hand that one top court in Maryland is doing something about it. The court ruled that police are not justified in searching a person based solely off of the smell of marijuana.
This ruling is a major boon for freedom and will only serve to improve police and citizen interactions by removing one of the ways police can harass individuals. Hopefully it will spread to other states like Texas where tyrant cops like Parris smash in people's heads for the smell.
In the land of the free, cops will claim to smell a plant on you and use that claim to violate your body in the most horrific way. And some people still have the audacity to call this "justice."