With two-thirds of Americans supporting legalization, law enforcement groups are among the few opposing it. As the Washington Post reports, the reason for their opposition is that because unlike many other drugs, weed emits a dank, lingering odor, making it “an ideal pretext for initiating a search that otherwise wouldn’t be justified — even if that search only turns up evidence of marijuana use and nothing more.” Cops routinely use the alleged presence of marijuana to justify unconstitutional searches that sometimes result in death. Removing this tool from their arsenal leads to a profound decrease in traffic stops and searches, and therefore a decrease in brutality, because they will simply have fewer opportunities to interact with the people of color they often victimize.
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