State v. CheathamAnnotate this Case
Police officers stopped Defendant’s vehicle for unlawful window tinting. Upon approaching the vehicle and speaking with Defendant, the officers noticed an odor of burnt marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle. The officers searched the car and found a small amount of unburnt marijuana. Defendant was arrested and charged with possession or use of marijuana. Defendant filed a motion to suppress arguing that, after passage of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, the odor of marijuana coming from a vehicle does not alone provide probable cause. The trial court denied the motion and then found Defendant guilty. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, in the instant case, the odor of marijuana sufficed to establish probable cause, and therefore, the search was authorized by the automobile exception to the warrant requirement.