Medical Marijuana in Missouri and Drug Interdiction Stops
Missouri citizens recently voted to legalize medical marijuana in their state. It was one of three amendments concerning cannabis that was on the ballot and was voted yes with a 65.5% to 34.5% margin. The legalization of this drug for medical purposes comes with a tax revenue for Missouri, but also with an increase of interdiction stops in the state of Nebraska. Understanding what an interdiction stop entails is important.
Drug Interdiction Stops in Nebraska
Interdiction is originally a military term that is defined as “the act of delaying, disrupting, or destroying enemy forces or supplies enroute to the battle area.” It is also a part of what is called the “War on Drugs.” Its aim is to stop the smuggling of illegal drugs, whether they are transported by air, land, or sea. All-in-all, the end goal of interdiction stops is to prohibit any person with illegal drugs from getting to their end point or using Nebraska roadways to transport the drugs.
This means that more law enforcement officials will be prepared to stop any vehicle they believe might be carrying drugs. With Missouri recently voting to legalize medical marijuana in their state, law enforcement may see the major highways and interstates out of St. Louis as potential pathways for drug trafficking. The reasoning behind this is since Missouri is so close to Nebraska, it is easy for a person to legally obtain marijuana and then bring it to Nebraska where it is still illegal to use and possess. Law enforcement’s goal is to lessen or even completely eradicate illegal marijuana from entering Nebraska from Missouri or other legalized states.
More than likely the police will be waiting out on I-29 or Highway 2 in hopes of finding cars they believe could be transporting drugs. Because these roads come directly from Missouri and are high traffic routes, law enforcement will consider them “hotspots” for drug movement. Usually, law enforcement attempting to find illegal drugs in a vehicle will pull over somebody they suspect of carrying drugs for a minor traffic violation, even more so if you have an out-of-state license plate. The next step for law enforcement is finding or obtaining a reason to search the vehicle with a desire to find drugs. The caveat, however, is that law enforcement are legally only allowed to pull you over for a valid reason. If they pull you over for no reason, the charges filed after the stop should be dropped, provided you find an attorney who understands the Fourth Amendment. Understanding when and why law enforcement can search your vehicle is important in any drug interdiction case.
Determining if Law Enforcement can Search Your Vehicle
Oftentimes, law enforcement will try to find a way to search your vehicle in hopes of finding illegal drugs. But law enforcement are only allowed to search your car for drugs if you give them permission or if they have a strong reason to do so (e.g. drugs or paraphernalia are in plain sight, smell of marijuana, large amounts of cash, etc.). You have a right to deny the police the right to search your car unless they have a warrant, illegal items are in plain sight, or if they have a reason to believe the evidence will disappear if they do not search it at that moment. You do not have to give them permission to search, and you even have the right to withdraw the permission you gave them during a search if you change your mind. Understanding your rights on the roadways are important in a in a drug interdiction case. If you feel as if your rights have been violated by law enforcement and have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced drug attorney immediately.
Berry Law’s Drug Stop Attorneys
If you have been pulled over while in the possession of drugs, you are very likely to be facing serious legal charges. Drug stops are frequent throughout Interstate 80, and, with Missouri legalizing medical marijuana, you can assume the amount of drug stops occurring on Interstate 29 and highway 2 will increase. You do have rights on the roadway, especially as it pertains to searching your vehicle. Contact Berry Law’s team of dedicated drug lawyers to schedule a consultation today.