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Under NYPD enforcement guidelines outlined in a March 31 memo that cited the new pot [legalization], cops are banned from searching a vehicle’s trunk just because they smell pot during a traffic stop.

The “sweeping changes” — which took effect immediately — also prohibit cops from searching anyone just for toking up “almost anywhere that cigarette smoking is allowed.”

But large numbers of gun busts have typically been made by cops who smell fresh or burnt marijuana after pulling over a car, according to NYPD sources.

Last year, 33 percent of all gun-possession arrests resulted from vehicle stops, with a majority of those also involving weed, a source familiar with the matter said.

Before the new law went into effect, that number rose to 45 percent this year, the source said.

NYPD statistics show that there were a total of 1,409 gun arrests — or an average of 108 a week — from Jan. 4 through April 4.

But during the five weeks that ended May 9, most of which were covered by the new pot law, there were just 209 gun busts — cutting the average by more than half to just 53 a week.

At the same time, shootings during April skyrocketed 166 percent — to 149 from 56 during the same month in 2020, according to NYPD CompStat data released last week.

— Larry Celona and Bruce Golding in Up in smoke: New weed law leads to drop in gun busts, NYPD sources say

83 COMMENTS

    • I have had cops pull me over for traffic stops and said twice, “I smell Marijuana”. The first time I replied, “That sounds like a personal problem to me” and the second time I said, “You should try and cut back while working”. One got a laugh and a warning, the other just got me the traffic ticket. White guy in a suit and tie, so your mileage will vary, so you humor with police at your own risk.

      The point is, they were trained to lie and say they smelled pot to get your reaction, a confession or consent to a search of the vehicle. They will eventually start to say, “Hey I smell Meth”, etc.

      • “you humor with police at your own risk.”

        That’s the case regardless. That is not the time to be funny, combative, or in any way disrespectful. It does not matter who the cop is or who you are.

        • In a cop vs citizen encounter, the respect is supposed to flow from the cop to the citizen. If the cop does not like being disrespected he is more than welcome to find honest employment where he is not living off the sweat of the citizen’s brow.

        • Disrespectful?
          If a lying sack of cop tells me he smells weed on me, he’s the one who’s being disrespectful.

        • There is a degree of respect that people need to learn to show each regardless. But when dealing with someone charged with the authority to arrest you, jail you, and/or change the course of the rest of your life (especially someone armed)….not displaying respect is a huge sign of lack of common sense.

          The fact that there are cops that will use and abuse that authority is not lost on me. But there is a time and place for things. Arguing with a cop on the side of the road is not a good idea and will like make things worse.

      • Which is why you only roll down a single window upon being approached at a traffic stop. Sometimes a LEO’s partner will go to your passenger side and tap the window to get you to roll it down, but once you have two windows open, they can claim to smell anything due to potential “cross-breeze”. Maintainng only a single window open during the entire stop/contact eliminates the legal argument for cross-breeze, and makes a LEO’s claim more difficult to prove in court.

        Of course, best not to smoke pot in the first place (the recreational TCH variety), but TEHO.

        • If your windows are bullet proof keep them both rolled up, if they are not , role out smoke wagons blazing.
          Just dont shoot the dog.
          Or hand the officer the joint and say, “”Yah wanna an other toke, Captain?”
          That’s it, adios for now, Jamie Brokett it is.

        • Never forget that this ignorant clown once referred to marijuana and ‘the devil’s lettuce’. Guns are not the only thing he really knows nothing about…

        • What, you’ve never heard of the devil’s lettuce before? It’s one of the better euphemisms.

          And speaking of things never to forget…

      • Yeah, when they knock on the window and ask”where’s the fire ?”, a good answer turns out NOT to be – ” looks like in your eyes, officer “…. ask me how I know .

        • And why should he waste his breath responding to a gutless coward who keeps using a different name each time he-she-it comments in TTAG? 😉

      • Need to get you a card like I have. It says, in short, that I don’t answer questions. Furthermore, I won’t answer questions without an attorney present. You don’t need to tell the police anything. They are training to get information out of you and use it to your disadvantage. Where are you going? None of their business.

      • Not sure how much of this is ignorance or deliberate misinformation.
        People who enjoy smoking pot are nosedeaf. You don’t realize that you, your house, your car, all smell like pot. Hotboxing makes your car smell like a rolling advertisement for pot and yes, I can be behind your car in traffic and unless my car’s AC is on recirculation I’m going to wind up smelling it. I’ve been driving down the road and smelled pot from the car in front of me too many times to count in my city. When I worked kitchen in fast food we could always tell when people had the munchies – because the smell would diffuse into the store from them rolling down a single window. No cross breeze necessary.

        Pot. Reeks. I’ve never understood why marijuana enthusiasts think their habit is discreet. I’m not a cop. I’m not in favor of the war on drugs (though I think if you have an accident while you’re high or drunk you should suffer the same fate as whomever you’ve struck) but pretending that pot can’t be smelled when someone’s hotboxing, or that it’s always a made up justification for a search is retarded wishful thinking.

        • Like how many druggies think the toilet cistern is the ideal hiding place for their stash. Some police and paramedics mentioned to me that is ALWAYS the first place they search.

          I mentioned this on another forum and there were a lot of abusive replies. They must have been druggies who did hide their stash in the toilet cistern.

        • You’re correct that pot reeks. But please read my comment again to better understand that it’s a reference to legal arguments.

          Kthxbai

        • I won’t argue any of what you say – but when a cop says that he smells pot, and you have never smoked pot in your life, something is wrong. And, it’s not me. Among my family and acquaintances, there are a small number who have been searched because the cop smelled marijuana, but never smoked. One of my sons ran into that situation, told the cops he didn’t want them to search his car, cop says “I can bring a dog out”. Kid told him to bring the dog on, because there were no drugs in the car. K9 handler went around the car three times, dog never alerted, so handler took out a ball, bounced it, dog tracks the ball, handler bounces the ball off the car, and the dog “alerted” while chasing the ball.

          Even with the “alert”, cops found no contraband of any kind.

          Cops have all sorts of dirty tricks.

        • Haz: Legal arguments that are unnecessary. I’m not sure where you live or how often you’re around pot but I assure you more than one window open isn’t even slightly necessary to smell pot. It would be a bit of a pain to impound a car and have the Judge have to pick it out via sniff test but I’m sure it could be done. Perhaps Mauser and other 420 enthusiasts could just try either respecting the law as written or being intelligent about breaking it. Kthxbai.

          Paul, you’re correct that Cops can and do abuse “the sniff test” but bad cops also can and do abuse ANY power given to them. A system for redress needs to be instituted for sure, and in a stop in which nothing is found the citizen should be compensated for the lost time – say an hour out of the Cop’s pay and an apology for wasting the citizen’s time.

        • You could tell me, any time, that something smells of pot and I couldn’t argue, I have no clue what pot smells like. And I graduated from college in 1969. If this is a byproduct of legalizing weed, I’m all for it. Now let’s legalize all other prohibited drugs, if it causes a lot of OD deaths that’s a feature, not a bug.

      • Smell meth….

        I’d probably say, “That’s my tires — I like to run over baggies of the stuff in parking lots at night; it sparkles in the moonlight”.

        I actually used that line once when a cop was lecturing a couple of tenants and rhetorically asked, “Is there anything good about meth?” He couldn’t stop laughing, which kind of messed up his lecture, but he did tell them that had better be the only place he ever found them with meth — on the pavement to be driven over.

      • Some types of coated paper smell very much like marijuana when they get hot. In my old job, it sometimes caused problems for the college recruitment folks who had to keep boxes full of brochures in the trunk of a car on hot summer days.

        • An officer needs reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. If I accidentally spill fake blood all over my backseat while working for a Halloween scare house and get stopped by an officer, he will be entitled to search the car and possibly detain me.. because there are fresh, visible blood stains in large amounts. Sure I have a legitimate activity that just LOOKS suspicious, but the officers won’t know that until they investigate further.

          There are always going to be legitimate activities that can look suspicious. That doesn’t mean officers are in the wrong for investigating. This memorable prank is a good example of that principle. (https://youtu.be/6EsphzAFQpg) Officers in this video handle it with good humor (for the most part) but they were all well within their duties and rights as officers to look closer at the prankster.. which was the point. Taking the pranksters downtown at the very end of the video I don’t agree with, but I would surmise it was probably related to phone calls/public nuisance complaints due to what looks like someone jacking it in broad daylight.

        • Very true. I think once or twice they got questioned by police about the suspicious odor, and one person that I know of had her car searched.

          Mostly they got grief from the university motor pool folks when they returned a car smelling like the wacky tobacky; even though they knew what was (and was not) going on, they weren’t happy about even the faint odor of potential wrongdoing lingering in a state vehicle.

          I thought it was interesting, because who would suspect *paper* smelling like that, of all things?

    • Being able to do any search based in odor is pure subjective and should be outlawed.

      Tell that to the dog sniffing out “ghost” guns.

      • Ive had a difficulty telling dogs about things.
        Like golly gee, you’ve got all that dog food you ain’t eatin. Why you gettin so pissie when I eat it?

      • Should apply to all law enforcement dogs. Other than tracking a fugitive or searching for a cadaver there is no reasonable use of dogs by law enforcement.

        • The comment form will accept some simple html formatting. Italics are your text here (em for emphasis; omit the spaces inside the carets).

        • Argh! It converted to code even though I used improper syntax. Damn these helpful wysiwyg editors!

          I’ll try again.

          The html tag in front of the text to be italicized is em bracketed inside a left caret and a right caret. At the end of the text, put /em inside the carets. Easy peasy. 🙂

    • “Being able to do any search based in odor is pure subjective and should be outlawed.”

      Unfortunately the courts have disagreed.

      • unfortunately the courts are WRONG….. AND A CIRCUS LIKE ENVIRONMENT TO BOOT….
        And CORRUPT AND A PIECE OF SHI+….
        GOT IT NOW D-HEAD?

        • I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.
          Are you aware of the courts’ reasoning? Apparently you take issue with it, but you give nothing to dispute it with except juvenile eruption of yelling and emoting — and comparison with a type of bolt.

  1. “New York’s recent decision to legalize weed has led to an alarming drop in gun arrests — at the same time shootings are surging across the Big Apple, The Post has learned.”

    hhhmmm…
    Sure sounds to me like people are losing their lives as a result of legalization.

    Assuming the New York Post is to be believed.

    • It’s almost like drug dealers are dumb enough to smoke pot in their cars or something, and when weed isn’t a justification for a search anymore it’s harder to toss them in jail.

      Let’s not pretend drug dealers are all good boys who just need an opportunity to turn their lives around.

    • Assuming the New York Post is to be believed. Which it is not.

      That’s not to say it’s impossible that there’s a connection (some of the people whose guns were confiscated probably were violent criminals), just that their implications and conclusions are not to be trusted.

      In Washington state and Colorado, for instance, there was no change in violent crime after marijuana legalization — and the clearance rate for property crimes like burglary and felony theft went up significantly, as police were able to turn more attention toward crimes that actually had victims. All the data points to legalization being a net positive.

      The spike in violence in NYC probably has little to no relation to marijuana and everything to do with the problems all the “progressive” cities are facing right now, as the progtards positively encourage violence with the BLM/defund the police nonsense and letting violent criminals go on zero bail. But good luck getting the Fox Butterfields in the New York media to recognize any of that.

      • The only point is that the New York Post is not worthy of the trust it’s readers would like to believe it deserves regardless of what your position is on weed.

        • You ask that as if the New York Post is interested in truth or reality with no underlying political agenda.

          NYT=NYP
          =CNN, the AP, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc etc etc

    • yeah….. that’s it….. you people, I swear….
      HERE’S YOUR FIRST CLUE……. MIND YOU’RE OWN GD BUSINESS…..
      There…… the marijuana debate settled in one sentence….

  2. Especially if said search is conducted by a K9!!!

    An officer who can’t be questioned under cross examination!!! A BLATANT VIOLATION OF THE 6TH AMENDMENT!!!

    Also K9 officers are trained to respond to HAND SIGNALS FROM THE HUMAN OFFICER K9 HANDLER!!! Meaning just because the cop wants to search you he can just by waving his hand!!!

    Really, I would think that people who are SO supportive of individual rights (and usually heavy drinkers) would be more supportive of personal responsibility – the fact that so many pro gun people are perfectly ok with the government telling you that you can’t own a gun because you smoke a little pot (which by the way is legal in >50% of states and is improperly scheduled as a class 1 narcotic) is mindblowing to me.

    If all “gun people” had the courage of their convictions –

    Smoke pot if you want, idc… choose to keep a shotgun in your closet in case of home invasion, or carry a glock (or 1911) incase a domestic terrorist opens fire at your local salvation army and I support you!

    Do something stupid because you’re inebriated and armed and get the chair like every other scumbag.

    • Doing something stupid is what gets people into trouble. That’s the case regardless of wether or not drugs of any kind are involved. Gun rights have no bearing on this.

    • Joe, I am supportive of individual rights. But, I don’t make the drug laws or the gun laws. Whether I like pot or not is irrelevant. Whether a state has made it legal or not is irrelevant to being a prohibited person under the GCA.

      Maybe pot shouldn’t be a class 1 narcotic, but it is.

      Regardless of my feelings on personal liberty, smoking pot and owning a gun is a felony. Lying on the 4473, however unconstitutional the form may be, is a felony.

      Anyone is free to commit a felony until they get caught/convicted. Then they aren’t free anymore.

      You make your choice based on what is, not what should be. You let your voice be heard on what should be.

  3. Reading between the lines, I see that a lot of people in a State that “condemns ” gunms has a lot of people carrying gunms. ? ? ?
    I guess they forgot about a law.

  4. The bad guys get caught for breaking a law and using or illegally carrying/possessing a gun, will get the gun charge dropped The good guy at a traffic stop with a cop that claimed marijuana smell who illegally searches the car and finds a gun, will be charged with a gun violation. This is by design, to seperate LE as “special” and make the rest of the public “bad guys”.
    Maybe rank and file LE wasn’t buying to this, but over time they come to believe it, at least in the big cities and suburbs.

  5. One could argue that it is equally erroneous to equate marijuana affection as being representative of “bad people” as it is to equate firearm affection as personifying “bad people”.

    Be consistent. Be honorable. Be smarter.

    • Exactly. It’s like when people play around with statistics. You can make it fit any narrative. Why do you think the pols are always rattling off stats?

      • Because 74% of people are unaware that 86% of quoted statistics are made up on the spot.

        DAMN! I believe that is my first twofer!

      • People who toss around stats frivolously are ignorant of what the fact that correlation does not equal causation means.

      • “Reported crime. Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.”

        Right. Thus my mantra: “Get rid of all laws, and you get rid of all crime.”

        Law is the universal leading cause of crime.

  6. 18th Amendment asks:

    How many of these folks would be felons in the first place, if there wasn’t an illegal war on drugs taking place?

  7. “cops are banned from searching a vehicle’s trunk just because they smell pot during a traffic stop.”

    So if you have contraband in the trunk, be sure to light up when a cop pulls you over.

    • No reason for a traffic ticket to justify the government searching your vehicle or it’s trunk.

    • “So if you have contraband in the trunk, be sure to light up when a cop pulls you over.”

      The gun-runners in NYC are laughing their asses off right now…

  8. bbrzzrrp zzerp (tinfoil hat).
    .:WARNING, WARNING WILL ROBINSON:

    It works if you can work it.

    – – -what else do you need to know?- – –
    bbrrzzzrrp zzzerp( tinfoil hat)

    Sorting fact from fiction is difficult if your facts, are , or may be, fictionalized.

  9. “But large numbers of gun busts have typically been made by cops who smell fresh or burnt marijuana after pulling over a car…”

    Or claim to. Drive around out East on a major highway that’s a “drug corridor” like I-70 with a car that has tags from, say, New Mexico and find out how honest all those cops are. You’ll find the dishonest ones pretty quick, especially just West of Columbus, Ohio.

    I will say however, the look on their face to pull over a younger person in a custom suit with a 70 pound dog on the passenger seat is totally worth the inconvenience, as are the lulz you get from their bullshit excuses for pulling you over.

    Regardless, cops fish for violations all the time and, IME, some of them will make up an excuse to run you through the ringer. Especially if you drive a car they don’t *like* you driving.

    But the same thing is true of lots of other things that might attract attention. Some you can change, others you can’t. But if you play with the ones you can change you’ll see the different way some cops act pretty quick. You’ll sort the wheat from the chaff pretty quick. Some of them want to fuck with you hard while most of them apologize for the other guy.

  10. “You ask that as if the New York Post is interested in truth or reality with no underlying political agenda.”

    Not at all. Just curiosity as possible conflation.

    All news outlets have agendas, always have, always will. News outlets have never been “objective”; someone decides what will be printed.

  11. Good….. I’M GLAD THEY CAN’T FIND MORE “ILLEGAL GUNS”…..
    Just like with the guns, the WEED is NONE OF YOUR EFFIN BUSINESS…..

  12. Amazing how an article that clearly has no anti law enforcement slant still managed to draw out all the usual suspect cop haters that so loved to devour the red meat that was regularly tossed to them back in the day before Robert Farago exited as HMFIC of TTAG after outing himself as a stoner with that infamous 2015 bone headed moronic mjnewsfeed.com announcement, “Housekeeping: The TTAG Team Creates Marijuana Website”. I find it absolutely hilarious that Farago era cop hating losers are so desperate for anti LE content that they chime in a on news item that’s clearly not. Always good to be reminded just how much this forum has improved since cop hater and stoner Robert Farago departed TTAG. Good riddance!

  13. I’m glad I live in Colorado… use and possession of mj is legal here, no need to smoke in your car. Use and carrying of firearms (a separate issue entirely) is also legal here, barring courtrooms and other official govt buildings, unlike the leftist state of New York. The truth is that a police officer can claim any reason for stopping you if he wants to jack you up- searching you requires a higher standard of suspicion.
    The cure is the same as drinking and driving- don’t drink or smoke while operating your vehicle…

  14. Used to work a second shift job. Shortest route home was along the edge of the local crack town. At least once a week I would get pulled over on some pretext. Told the cop I had a weapon and carry permit, as required by state law. My old 1911 was run so many times the dispatchers new the serial number by heart. Made friends with the local drug dogs. And the over night watch sergeants even knew me personally. Guess a middle aged white guy near crack town after midnight is a cause for suspicion. Just has to be up to no good.
    So, go ahead, search my car, check my weapon, run a search for wants or warrants, run my insurance info, Still never got mad or more than slightly annoyed. Usually chuckled at the cops for their waste of time and effort attempting to find some reason to at least write a ticket, or make an arrest. Guess I just messed up their quotas.

  15. As long as they aren’t troubling others. Let them smoke weed. However the legalization crowd historically are no friends of Liberty. They have supported raising taxes and supported racist gun control.

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