Maryland Passes Bill to Prohibit Police Vehicle Searches Based on Cannabis Odor

Maryland lawmakers passed a bill this week to prohibit police officers from conducting vehicle searches based solely on the presence of cannabis odor.

Full story after the jump.

Maryland lawmakers on Monday night passed legislation to prevent police officers from searching a vehicle based on the odor of cannabis, FOX 5 DC reports. Democratic lawmakers, in the final hours of the state session, had also tried to push through a bill to change the sentencing for individuals caught selling large amounts of cannabis; however, Republicans walked out of the chamber before voting in protest over the actions of House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D). 

The row between Republicans and the Democratic House speaker occurred during a debate on the drug trafficking bill when Republicans were trying to explain their “no” votes with about 10 minutes of the session remaining, according to Twitter posts by FOX Baltimore reporter Mikenzie Frost. In a Washington Post report, Republicans said the issue was Jones was not letting the Republicans talk – which the Post described as a “minority party… tactic” often deployed “to run out the clock” on legislation they disagree with.

In an interview with the Post, Del. Nicholaus R. Kipke (R), who led the walkout, said he was “happy” that the protest killed the bill. 

In a statement on Tuesday, Gov. Wes Moore (D), who was seated in the House chamber balcony during the dustup, said, “We can govern through partnership, bipartisanship, and a set of common values. What happened last night did the opposite, and we should all expect better from our leaders.”   

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