Court Rules Drug Dogs Don’t Constitute Probable Cause

On December 17, a three-judge panel of the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that Grand Junction, Colorado police didn’t have enough probable cause to search a vehicle, based solely upon evidence found by a drug-sniffing dog. The case was tossed out and a new trial was ordered by the panel.

The Daily Sentinel reports that the case arose out of a 2015 incident out of Moffat County. A drug-sniffing police dog named Talu found evidence of drugs in a car driven by Arlene Coglietti. Coglietti was pulled over for allegedly speeding. Since Talu is not trained to distinguish between illegal drugs and legal cannabis, the judge threw out the evidence found by the drug dog.

“Following the adoption of Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution in 2012, it is ‘not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Colorado law’ for a person over 21 years of age to possess one ounce or less of marijuana,” Judge Rebecca Freyre wrote in the ruling. The ruling was joined by Judges Terry Fox and Lino Lipinsky.

“And because small amounts of marijuana can no longer be considered contraband, our (Colorado) Supreme Court has concluded that a ‘drug-detection dog that alerts to even the slightest amount of marijuana can no longer be said to detect only contraband,’” Freyre added, quoting an earlier case. “‘Thus, an exploratory sniff of a car from a dog trained to alert to substance that may be lawfully possessed violates a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy in lawfully possessing that item.’”

Sgt. Justin Bynum said he observed Coglietti place a speaker box in a car outside of a home they were surveilling in a robbery case. He also claimed that he saw a handshake between her and someone from that residence.

The precedent to block evidence from drug-sniffing dogs was set back in 2017 when a separate three judge panel of the appeals court’s case was upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court, later ruling that because such police dogs can’t distinguish between cannabis and illegal drugs.

In Colorado, the usefulness of drug-sniffing dogs has fallen out of favor, following The Colorado Supreme Court decision in the People v. McKnight case, which essentially bars K-9 officers trained to detect cannabis from conducting searches. Under recent changes in several states including Colorado, some drug-sniffing dogs are out of a job.

Originally Published on 2020 12 22 by Benjamin M. Adams | DOPE Magazine

Thank you for joining us today for our latest news post. If you have any questions or comments about this post, we’d love to hear from you in the comments! Join the newsletter to stay up to date on the latest Industry News and keep an eye out for our next news article!

Disclaimer: This content was sourced from DOPE Magazine and republished to our website to add value and additional content for our readers. In order to maintain the safety, functionality, and integrity of, the sourced content may have been altered. To access the original content, please click the link below:


Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on tumblr
The Editor

The Editor is the internet's largest CBD stores directory. Browse 100s of CBD businesses, find CBD near you, and more!
  • Comments are closed.
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

    Stay informed with the latest articles on our CBD blog

    Related Posts

    CBD hemp oil, Hand holding bottle of Cannabis oil against Marijuana plant. Herbal Treatment, Alternative Medicine

    How CBD Can Help You

    With more and more CBD products entering the market every year, the CBD industry is growing at a rapid pace. The industry is projected to

    Pin It on Pinterest