Police smell drugs — bring drug charges against Utah residents

Police are specially trained to notice the signs of drug use. They know how drugs look, how they smell and how they are used. With this knowledge, they look for signs of drug use in Utah residents’ homes, cars and businesses. When they find evidence of drug possession, serious drug charges can follow.

Recently, two Utah residents were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana after police showed up at an apartment after someone called to report that it smelled of marijuana. According to police, they knocked on the door of one of the apartments and were invited in by the residents. When the police questioned the occupants about the marijuana smell, the officers claimed that the residents claimed that it was odor from a recently ordered pizza.

However, after some questioning, the man and woman inside admitted to marijuana use and gave evidence to police officers. Police claim that they obtained two pipes, a grinder and 4.9 grams of marijuana.

Utah residents may not think of marijuana as a serious drug. While attitudes about marijuana have changed recently nationwide, it is still an illegal drug. Marijuana possession can result in serious drug charges and penalties. Residents need to know that they are under no obligation to admit to illegal activity to police. When it comes to drug charges, people have constitutional rights. These rights include the right to avoid self-incrimination and the right to have an attorney present during police questioning.

People who are accused of drug charges — even for marijuana possession — should not be afraid to exercise these rights. If police overstep their boundaries when it comes to constitutional rights, evidence collected may be thrown out of court.

Source: The Salt Lake City Tribune, “Two Utahns cited after telling police marijuana smell was just pizza,” May 2, 2014

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