Pubdate: Tue, 24 Jun 2003
Source: Baxter Bulletin, The (AR)
Copyright: 2003 The Baxter Bulletin.
Author: Gary Storck


Regarding your article, "Deputy smells marijuana in vehicles" (June

This is a common tactic of law officers, whether they actually smell
marijuana or not. Predatory policing like this is common, usually
directed at the young and/or minority drivers. A friend of mine here
in Wisconsin recently was subjected to a similar arrest, despite the
fact the car did not smell like pot.

All the folks described in their story, and anyone who may be a target
of this kind of predatory enforcement should exercise their
Constitutional rights to decline consent to a search, and to remain
silent. Law officers have plenty of real crime to attend to, and
targeting youth for unconstitutional searches does nothing to address
the real threats to public safety.

Know your rights and exercise them. File a complaint if you believe
you have been mistreated, and file suit if you have a case. This kind
of abuse will continue only if we allow it.

Gary Storck

Madison, Wis.