Who Let The Dogs In?

Who Let The Dogs In?
Posted by CN Staff on January 28, 2005 at 07:53:15 PT
By Jacob Sullum
Source: Reason Magazine
Police used to need probable cause to search the trunk of your car. Now all they need is a dog.Here's how it works: An officer pulls you over because you're driving a bit too fast or a bit too slow, or because you have a broken tail light, or because you're not wearing your seat belt, or because you forgot to put your new registration sticker on your license plate. He is soon joined by another officer with a drug-sniffing dog, which "alerts" when it gets near your trunk.
Or so the officers say. You have no idea what this particular dog does when it smells contraband, and the dog isn't talking. But now the police can look in your trunk. A minor traffic stop is thus transformed into an embarrassing, invasive, intimidating, time-consuming search for illegal drugs.The Supreme Court recently gave its approval to this sort of stop-and-switch in a case involving a man named Roy Caballes, who was pulled over on Interstate 80 by an Illinois state trooper for driving six miles an hour faster than the speed limit. Caballes happened to have 282 pounds of marijuana in his trunk, but even those of us who are not pot smugglers should worry that the Court saw nothing wrong with the circumstances that led to his arrest.Trooper Daniel Gillette testified that he became suspicious because Caballes was well-dressed and seemed nervous, the car smelled of air freshener, and the only visible belongings were two sport coats, even though Caballes said he was moving from Las Vegas to Chicago. Gillette asked for permission to search the car, which Caballes, not surprisingly, declined to grant.Gillette got permission from a dog instead. Trooper Craig Graham, upon hearing Gillette call in the stop, decided to swing by with a drug-sniffing canine, conveniently arriving just as Gillette was writing Caballes a warning ticket. For Caballes, one sniff by that dog was the difference between a warning and a 12-year prison sentence. But according to the Supreme Court, the sniff was not a search. "A dog sniff conducted during a concededly lawful traffic stop that reveals no information other than the location of a substance that no individual has any right to possess does not violate the Fourth Amendment," wrote Justice John Paul Stevens for the six-member majority.The decision built on a 1983 ruling that said "subjecting luggage to a 'sniff test' by a well-trained narcotics detection dog does not constitute a 'search' within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment" because it "discloses only the presence or absence of narcotics, a contraband item." In other words, the only privacy interest it violates is a drug smuggler's desire to conceal his stash, which is not protected by the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of "unreasonable searches and seizures."This argument is based on a myth. As Justice David Souter, one of two dissenters in Illinois v. Caballes, pointed out, "the infallible a creature of legal fiction."Souter cited examples from court cases of dogs with error rates of up to 38 percent. "Dogs in artificial testing situations return false positives anywhere from 12.5 to 60% of the time," he added.In short, it is simply not true that a drug-sniffing dog "discloses only the presence or absence of narcotics." Even leaving aside the possibility of deliberate deception or honest error by police officers eager to turn a hunch into probable cause, the dogs themselves make mistakes, responding to subconscious cues from their handlers, alerting to food or residual odors of drugs that are no longer present, mistaking items associated with drugs for the drugs themselves, and so on. Whatever the cause of a false alert, it exposes innocent people to the inconvenience and humiliation of drug searches they have done nothing to justify. Now that the Court has said police need no special reason to bring in the dogs, provided they are otherwise complying with the law, such searches will become more common, and they need not be limited to routine traffic stops.Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the other dissenter in this case, warned that the Court's analysis "clears the way for suspicionless, dog-accompanied drug sweeps of parked cars along sidewalks and in parking lots," even of cars stopped at traffic lights. If you happen to be caught in such a dragnet, just keep telling yourself it's not really a search.Note: The Supreme Court did, by declaring a sniff is not a search.Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use (Tarcher/Putnam).Source: Reason Magazine (US)Author: Jacob SullumPublished: January 28, 2005 Copyright: 2005 The Reason FoundationContact: letters reason.comWebsite: Related Articles:Drug War Shrinking Bill of Rights for Life in a Police State Uphold Use of Drug-Sniffing Dogs OKs Use of Drug-Sniffing Dogs 
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Comment #22 posted by fearfull on February 01, 2005 at 10:01:04 PT
It wouldn't have to be anything more potent that ditch weed either. Just needs to smell like pot.
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Comment #21 posted by afterburner on January 31, 2005 at 09:28:14 PT
Accuracy In Media 'Strikes' Again like a Snake#20 
Note the "snake oil" propaganda theme. They should know about snake oil, they probably use it to anoint themselves. Red baiting: the great 'Murikan sport."noxious weed"? noxious? Where is your proof?"linked to documented cases of mental illness"? Misleading tripe, as usual! Correlation does not prove causation!{According to NAMI (the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill ( )) an American advocacy organisation, twenty-three percent of North American adults will suffer from a clinically diagnosable mental illness in a given year, but less than half of them will suffer symptoms severe enough to disrupt their daily functioning.} --Mental illness
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia of Americans "will suffer ... from mental illness in a given year"! That means that mental illness correlates will darn-near anything: driving, drinking water, bowling, going on walks, praying, eating fats carbohydrates and protein, going to the beach, flying a kite, taking a shower, chatting on the Internet, giving public speeches, listening to the radio, going to the movies, having a family dinner, riding horses, going shopping, voting, picnicking, office work, factory work, dating, sports, writing, doing math, i.e., any common human activity! 
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on January 31, 2005 at 07:01:10 PT
A Socialist at The Washington Post
By Cliff Kincaid  January 31, 2005 A socialist implies opposition to capitalism and big money.  Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson is described by the paper as "editor at large of the American Prospect and political editor of L.A. Weekly." That's only partly true. Myerson is, in fact, a socialist. More specifically, he's a vice-chair of Democratic Socialists of America. Why doesn't the Post tell us that? Is the paper afraid to admit that it has hired a left-wing extremist to write columns?A socialist implies opposition to capitalism and big money. But Meyerson broke the mold last year when he showered praise on multi-billionaire George Soros for spending millions to elect John Kerry and other Democrats on November 2nd. The effort failed, but Meyerson thought it was great that a global capitalist had privatized the Democratic Party through loopholes in campaign finance law. Late reports indicate that Soros, who promised to go into a monastery if Bush was re-elected, has gotten out his checkbook once again, and plans to spend millions more building up the infrastructure of the political left. Of course, his plan to go into a monastery was a joke; Soros is an atheist and seems to think of himself as God.An advocate of big and bigger government, Meyerson thinks the failed Social Security system is just great and is in fine shape. He recently used his Post column to assure his readers that "Social Security is on a sounder footing now than it has been for most of its 70-year history," even though its Trust Fund has absolutely no cash.Meyerson also used his column to jump on the media bandwagon and lambaste conservative commentator Armstrong Williams for taking $241,000 from the Department of Education to promote its No Child Left Behind program. "In this administration," thundered Meyerson, "it is the role of a government agency to turn out pro-Bush news by whatever means possible." By the same token, it is Meyerson's job to sneak socialist propaganda into the Washington Post by whatever means possible. The paper is a willing accomplice and actually pays him to do this.Also jumping at the chance to employ a socialist, the New York Times hired Barbara Ehrenreich as a guest columnist last year. Gail Collins, editor of the editorial page, said that she was "a brilliant social critic, historian and political commentator." Ehrenreich is also an honorary chair of Democratic Socialists of America and a member of the board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. She spoke to the national NORML conference in 2000 and attacked drug testing as demoralizing. But notes about her talk, posted on the Web, were written down by an admitted "stoner" and so we can't know for sure exactly what she said.As for Meyerson, he doesn't sit on the NORML board but is an avid backer of "medical marijuana." On the left, peddling dope to cure one's health problems is acceptable, even though it's just a modern version of the old snake oil salesman. Meyerson has not explained how smoking a noxious weed linked to documented cases of mental illness is beneficial. Perhaps he'll write a column on the subject for the Post. But don't expect the paper to label him a socialist.Copyright: 2004 Accuracy In Media
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Comment #19 posted by The GCW on January 29, 2005 at 15:41:33 PT
Dogs and other animals...
US FL: Ocala Man Mistakenly Attacked By Police DogPubdate: Sat, 29 Jan 2005
Source: Star-Banner, The (FL)Man Says Officer Didn't Control Dog OCALA - A man was mistakenly bitten by an Ocala Police dog Friday, an attack he says was caused by poor training and a lack of professionalism. ......It is unclear if officers did anything wrong. is the second investigation Buchbinder has been involved in. In March 2002, he, along with Cpl. Roger Wissinger, were investigated for wrongly entering a West Ocala home and pepper spraying a family. The investigation concluded that Buchbinder's use of pepper spray against the three angry family members was justified, while Wissinger was told he improperly entered the home without a warrant. (Is that all; he was told???)420Sometimes I wonder if the dog should be held responsible for failing to control the officer.Let's teach the dog to stop the cop, when the cop goes past Our rights; they see a breach and go for the arm... Society forces the criminals to be the cops and then they are all tagged with a dog that guards them. (The thick Texas talking troopers in Cannada get 2 about it... How do We lovingly treat criminals that really do harm innocent people? Every case may be different, but in some instances, making them police officers, really serving and protecting citizens could change many thugs...Oh, it's past fourtwenty
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Comment #18 posted by JustGetnBy on January 29, 2005 at 12:30:06 PT
Cannabis Scent
FEARFULL  My friend, you have hit upon the solution to the dog sniffing problem. Saturate everything you can. where ever you go, particularly other peoples cars ( parking lots etc )If the dog alerts on the mayors car, or a judges car, their credibility will vanish.  THINK ABOUT THIS, EVERYBODY, PLEASE !
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Comment #17 posted by kaptinemo on January 29, 2005 at 08:00:11 PT:
Another dog related to the very end
Youy want to see what the future holds with the recent ruling? Think they'll only stop with sniffing cars? Think again... Doggie Detective: Abandoned Pooch Now Sniffs Out Dope abandoned turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Jake. Unwanted by his owner, the black Labrador puppy from Kelowna, B.C., was tied to the door handle of a parked car and left to the mercy of a stranger.
The stranger took him to the humane society where he lived a short while before he was "discovered" by talent scouts at Canada Border Services Agency.
Motivated, Fearless
"We took an interest in him, and now he's got a good life," said Connie, a dog handler with Canada Border Services Agency who did not want her last name published to protect Jake's safety. "He's working for a living now."
Jake was chosen by the agency because he was highly motivated to chase after a ball and was fearless in his searching efforts.
"We often go to humane societies to look for potential dogs," said Connie, adding black Labradors are a popular breed because of their strong sense of smell.
After an intense 10-week training session at Detector Dog School in Quebec, Jake graduated in July 2000 and has been working with Connie at the Winnipeg International Airport ever since.
"I bring him to work with me each day and take him home at the end of the day," said Connie. "When we're not at work, he's just like a regular pet."
Jake can detect 12 kinds of narcotics, including heroin, cocaine, opium, marijuana and ecstasy and when a new drug comes out on the market, he can learn its smell after five minutes of training.
He can also detect weapons, gunpowder and even currency.
"When he smells something, he'll point to where it is with his nose and then sits and waits for his toy," said Connie, adding Jake was able to detect a few ecstasy pills vacuum-packed in coffee grounds and wrapped in several sheets of fabric softener.
Jake doesn't always know when it's the end of the work day, though.
"We were at a mall and a man walked by with a backpack that Jake was interested in," said Connie. "But it's not in my jurisdiction, so I just rewarded Jake ( for discovering the contraband ) and I can call the cops." In the 1970's the original catechism of terrorists was that they didn't have to change the government; they'd make people so afraid, the people would scream for protection. But the only thing government seems to know how to do, though, is just become more clumsily oppressive in it's 'protection', while unable to prevent terrorist acts, so people would eventually rebel and overthrow the repressive government, doing the terrorists work for them.The technology for opression is at the point now where it will be used to oppressively 'protect' you to the point someday you will have to do just that - rebel. This latest bit of insanity from the Supremes regarding dogs is one more instance. The terrs are winning, after all...
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Comment #16 posted by ekim on January 28, 2005 at 20:51:35 PT
T121 have you written Molly Ivans please do godluc
so i put 11.6 and hit times key and enter 20 and 232. comes out so its two hundred and thirty two million spent on cannabis arrests in Texas. just think with regulation that could be a net increase in public money instead of a net decrease in public monies.
with jobs on farms and factories being added to the list
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on January 28, 2005 at 20:45:54 PT
I would be so happy if we got a MMJ Bill in my state. We are technically decriminalized since the 70s so I guess I think more of MMJ. Good Luck with both efforts. Ours is less then 100 grams a $100 fine. It's like a civil citation I think.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on January 28, 2005 at 20:37:45 PT
Texas Bills
This Texan is very glad and very grateful. Very. My hope now, is that our legislators have enough guts to carry through and pass both these bills into law. 
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Comment #13 posted by b4daylight on January 28, 2005 at 18:34:14 PT
drug sniffing dogs at DUI checkpointshows that for police state.interesting note> Courts build up from old cases right well what happens if they were wrong?do we just keep building.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on January 28, 2005 at 17:35:38 PT
I'm sorry. I wish you the best of luck. 
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Comment #11 posted by Taylor121 on January 28, 2005 at 17:26:57 PT
Believe me I know
I am a victim of the laws here :(
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on January 28, 2005 at 17:04:27 PT
Thank you! I think it's a good thing. We've been thru Texas but we swore we would never go there again. I didn't realize how harsh the laws were in Texas when we went thru the state. You need Medical Marijuana in Texas and it might help soften the state a little I think.
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Comment #9 posted by Taylor121 on January 28, 2005 at 16:57:29 PT
I'm pleased
I'm extremely happy and I'm in Texas.I hope everyone spreads the word about both this medical marijuana bill and H.B. 254 which reduces penalties for less than an ounce to a class c mis, fine only offense
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on January 28, 2005 at 16:49:33 PT
Just a Question
We have a number of people that live in Texas here on CNews. I hope they are happy about this bill. Sometimes I think people aren't thinking about medical marijuana issues like some of us here do. If it was my state I would be thrilled. 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 28, 2005 at 16:14:55 PT
Thank you. That's good news!
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Comment #6 posted by Taylor121 on January 28, 2005 at 16:07:38 PT
Medical Marijuana Filed in Texas
Today our hard work has paid off! HB 658, a medical marijuana bill authored by Democratic Representative Elliott Naishtat and joint authored by Republican Chairman Terry Keel, was filed today at the State Capitol.HB 658 is an important step for medical marijuana patients in Texas. If passed it would: Allow a person who is arrested for possession of marijuana, and who has a bona fide medical condition and a recommendation from his or her physician, to present an affirmative defense to his or her prosecution. Enable Texas jurors to hear evidence and determine whether or not the individual has a valid medical defense. Presently Texas law does not allow jurors to grant an affirmative defense related to the medical use of marijuana. Protect doctors from being investigated solely on the grounds that they discussed marijuana as a treatment option with their patients. Allow police and prosecutors to exercise discretion and save our taxpayer money when law enforcement officers come into contact with a legitimate medical marijuana user. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2003 there were 57,172 people arrested and prosecuted for possession of marijuana in Texas. If 5% (2,858) of those arrested were medical marijuana users, the taxpayers of Texas wasted an estimated $11.6 million dollars to apprehend them!As you know, TMM is sponsoring a Lobby Day on Thursday, February 17th, to celebrate the filing of HB 658 and to continue to garner support for the bill in the Legislature.Your attendance is important to HB 658's successful passage. Our state legislators must understand how critical this bill is to medical marijuana patients throughout Texas like Marcia Johnson, a paraplegic woman who uses marijuana to relieve her chronic pain and spasms. According to Ms. Johnson, "As it stands now, if I were to be prosecuted for marijuana possession, I couldn't even mention that I use it for medical purposes. I could lose my disability income, my home and be jailed, just for treating my illness. Should I ever have to go to trial, this legislation would allow me to share all the facts surrounding my use of marijuana with a jury."If you have signed up to attend Lobby Day already we will be sending you details regarding the schedule of events shortly. If you have not confirmed your attendance with us, however, please email Karen Heikkala (Karen or contact her by telephone (512-589-1086) to let her know that you are coming so that we can be sure to order enough food for breakfast and lunch for you!If you cannot attend Lobby Day but still want to actively contribute to the passage of HB 658 , please contact your State Representative and Senator directly to let them know that they should support the bill. If you are unsure of who represents you, please contact Karen by email or call our office at (512) 220-9209 and we will provide you with that information, or you can find out online at: Who Represents Me?.Thank you for all of your support over the last year. It is that support that has made this legislation a reality. With your continued support we will succeed in making a real difference in the lives of medical marijuana patients in Texas.Sincerely,Noelle Davis
Executive Director
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Comment #5 posted by potpal on January 28, 2005 at 13:36:43 PT
Emperor wears no clothes...
The original pulp edition of subject book has a page in the back that compares the laws enacted in Nazi Germany with those put in place by George the elder in 91 relating to drug users...wish I still had a copy of the book, lent out 2 of 'em and never saw them again, hopefully they are still in circulation. Had a friend that borrows so many books from me, last time I saw him he asked to borrow a book shelf...boom tish. 
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on January 28, 2005 at 13:36:13 PT
what Murphy says:
 Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow they may make it illegal. help: infallible a creature of legal fiction.
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Comment #3 posted by fearfull on January 28, 2005 at 13:03:25 PT
Fight back
I am reminded of a statment made by Mr Mark Emery(I think) of Canada when the RCPM annonced that is was going to have dogs on a certain ferry on a regular basis. The idea was to cook pot in water and then load that water in spray bottles. Then to take those spray bottles and start spraying everything in sight. That way the dogs would "hit" on everything they sniffed. Causing the Cops and dogs to waist their time on false alarms. Not a bad idea in my opinion. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 28, 2005 at 10:12:42 PT
That is funny. 
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on January 28, 2005 at 10:11:23 PT
Funny thing...
In England the high court has upheld a ban on hunting with dogs (BBC news today) and here in the United State of Amerika, the supreme court has given it the green light...
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