Fuck Yeah Drug Policy

Last month, on a road trip from Oregon to the SSDP conference in Colorado, the guys at The Weed Blog ran into a “drug inspection checkpoint” on a Nevada freeway. Curious about what they had seen, a simple Google search led them to this article. The following is some important information regarding these so-called drug checkpoints.

Drug Checkpoint Ahead? Relax and Keep Driving | Flex Your Rights

Why? Because there isn’t exactly such a thing as a drug checkpoint. In City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, the Supreme Court found random drug checkpoints unconstitutional in 2000. Since then, police (particularly in the mid-west) have gotten into the habit of putting signs up warning drivers of upcoming drug checkpoints and then detaining and searching drivers who make illegal u-turns or desperately fling contraband from their vehicles. These checkpoint-like fake checkpoints serve as the functional equivalent of a checkpoint without violating the Court’s prohibition against checkpoints.

We’ve received several emails about this practice over the past couple years and we’ve mentioned it in our presentations, but perhaps this is something that deserves more attention. The prodigious Drug WarRant blogger Peter Guither encountered one of these non-checkpoints over the Thanksgiving weekend, and had some very interesting observations. Most notably, the sign warning of an upcoming drug checkpoint was located shortly before a rest area exit ramp, the intended result being that drivers wishing to avoid the checkpoint would pull in. Peter did not stop, but observed officers in the rest area parking lot using dogs to sniff approaching vehicles. 

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