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Leonard L. Frieling Aug. 10, 2022

To Smell or Not to Smell, that Is the Question

To Smell or Not to Smell, that is the question, or How to save $24,985.00 plus shipping.

As a criminal defense attorney of some 38 years, I’ve handled a surfeit of marijuana driving cases. Some ended very happily. Some did not.

One of the things I’ve seen as a pattern in automobile cases, the odor of pot coming from the car. Burnt or un-burnt does not matter. A medical card does not matter. Do not confess to possession regardless of a card and regardless of legal possession. Legal possession does not matter. The idea is to avoid or minimize civilian-police contacts while being polite and even friendly. Other occupants in the car merely increase the complexity and sometimes the legal fees.

Happily, the “unpleasant citizen-police involvements” can be rather easily reduced. Since there should NEVER be an odor of marijuana in a vehicle, never, not even once, should one smoke pot in the car. No one can smell the age of the smell of pot, smoked or not smoked. Carry your marijuana, pipes, papers, and the rest, in the trunk, AND in an odor-protective storage box. Pelican makes a super-high quality indestructible box with the all-critical “O” ring seal.

Based upon my research and smell testing, the best bang for the buck is the “Drybox.” This reasonable imitation of the Pelican also has the critical “O” ring seal, is quite strong, has holes for small padlocks, and is quite effective for $15 at Amazon. It is found with camping supplies.

The moral of the story is that it is generally a bad idea to smell.

Ideally, carry the Drybox inside your marijuana store. Make sure it is open so that the security camera can tell you are not carrying a weapon into the store. Make your purchase, lock it in the box, before leaving the store, and then put the box in the trunk. You can even keep the key in the trunk. No reason for access from the passenger compartment.

Incidentally, non-medical carry requires trunk carry generally, with almost identical language to the “vehicle carry for open alcohol” law.

Stay safe. Don’t smell. Don’t let your car smell. Don’t smoke while driving. Smoking can impair driving. Smelling can impair a police-citizen encounter over what might have been a minor speeding ticket, or an expired plate.

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