The Supreme Court of Vermont is considering reviewing a case where the law protected a policeman who searched and seized the car of driver because it smelled like cannabis. This case took place in 2014 and Greg Zullo, the driver, was left stranded on the road in the middle of winter.
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Zullo was 21 at the time of that stop and was pulled over because his license plate was partly covered with snow. He also had to pay a 150 dollar towing fee to retrieve his car. When the vehicle was searched, authorities reported that they found a grinder and a pipe that contained cannabis residue, but Zullo was never ticketed or charged for the crime which made the ACLU and others think that Zullo was arrested simply because he was black.
The officer in question lost his job 5 months after this event, with the public commissioner highlighting the officer’s history of unwarranted searches and abuse of power.
On 2014, the judges ruled in favor of the policemen, claiming that the sniff test was enough of a reason for him to search and seize possession of the car. On 2017, more states have begun to reconsider the sniff test and things are not as simple as they used to be. The reevaluation of this case could set a sweeping precedent for the future of cannabis in Vermont, where policemen would require more evidence than smell to search the vehicles of drivers.