ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland’s highest court says the smell of marijuana isn’t enough for police to search a person, in a ruling that begins by quoting the title of Bob Dylan’s song: ‘‘The Times They Are A-Changin’.’’
The Court of Appeals ruled 7-0 this week that in Maryland’s post-decriminalization era, the odor of marijuana coupled with possession of what is clearly less than 10 grams doesn’t give officers probable cause to make an arrest and search a person.
The ruling says police can still use the smell of marijuana to justify searching a vehicle. But police can’t search anyone in the vehicle without evidence of a crime.
Maryland decriminalized possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana in 2014. It’s now considered a civil offense that can carry a $100 fine.