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The Rise of “Marijuana Profiling” On Colorado Borders

A police car in the rear view mirror of a vehicle that has been racially profiled and pulled over on the false accusation of holding marijuana.

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The Rise of “Marijuana Profiling” On Colorado Borders

“Marijuana profiling” is a term being used to describe a series of seemingly random stops of Colorado residents by law enforcement of states bordering or near Colorado. Those stopped feel this has nothing to do with their driving but rather the state on their license plates.

According to recent reports, marijuana profiling has been on the rise since 2012, since the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana for all uses in the state.

One such case occurred in January, as reported by RT, when a state trooper in Nevada pulled over Colorado resident David Adkins near Las Vegas. The trooper reported Adkins was swerving, yet Adkins claims the officer did not ask for license or registration but rather “…stuck his head right in there and started sniffing as soon as he came up to the car.”

No marijuana was found and Adkins was let go.

Another case in Idaho is going to court after state troopers pulled over 69-year-old Darian Roseen for an illegal lane change. According to the audio from state trooper Justin Klitch’s dashboard camera, Klitch was initially suspicious of why Roseen pulled into a rest stop quickly but the conversation escalated within minutes to “You definitely didn’t want me around you for some reason. … Why are your eyes glassy today?”

According to a report by The Spokesman, the camera audio catches the trooper requesting to search Adkins vehicle:

Idaho State Trooper Klitch: When is the last time you used any marijuana, sir?

Roseen: I have not used marijuana in my entire life.

Klitch: No? OK. Do you mind if I search your vehicle?

Roseen: Well, yeah, if I have a choice, I can say no, I don’t want you to search it.

Klitch: Why are you so worried about me? If you’re not violating any laws of the state or this country – why are you so concerned about me?

Roseen: Because I want to get on the road and just get home.

Klitch: OK, well, I’m telling you with what I’m seeing today, that is not going to happen. Because I believe that you have something in this vehicle that you shouldn’t have. … You’re obviously nervous about whatever it is.  … I am going to find whatever it is, I can assure you of that.

Klitch convinces Roseen to unload the bed of his truck and open a compartment beneath the bed that comes standard in the vehicle.

Klitch: Why do I smell marijuana coming out of there, sir?

Roseen: You don’t.

Klitch: Well, take a smell.

The older man leans in toward the compartment and sniffs.

Roseen: Nothing of the sort.

Klitch: I’m going to be looking through everything in here because of that odor

Roseen: I don’t even know what you’re smelling.

Klitch: I’ve got to be real honest with you, sir, with that odor I smell, I got a right to search the whole vehicle. I’ve got probable cause.

The troopers detained Roseen for several hours, even driving the vehicle to a nearby police station to search again with another officer. The searches yielded nothing illegal. Roseen has filed a lawsuit against the Idaho State Patrol. Police declined comment pending the investigation.

Have you or someone you know been profiled driving in and out of Colorado? Tell us in the comments below!

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Lean Hart

    January 1, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Remember, you police in neighboring States to Colorado that all together for the State of Colorado to pass the sanctioning of cannabis, many individuals who have never utilized voted yes for authorization. Many individuals coming into outskirt States like Kansas thus on have never utilized and we’re discussing a great many individuals here.

  2. MIKE

    November 18, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I was profiled-stopped while driving from Oregon into SW Idaho. Similar to the story above I was not fdoing anything illegal but was still stopped on the roadside putting my life in danger while the Idaho State Police asked me to get out of my vehicle while another officer walked around my vehicle with a dog that was sniffing my vehicle, and standing on its hind legs to sniff inside my vehicle through the open windows. the officer informed me the reason he pulled me over was a failure to use my signal when changing lanes. The problem with his lie is that I was not changing lanes, I was driving 5 mph under the posted 80mph speed limit, and I was using a dash camera to record my travel. As soon as I was pulled over by the black unmarked police vehicle, another law enforcement vehicle that appeared of similar make and unmarked status pulled in behind the lead officer. I opened all my windows, and had my hands on the steering wheel for respect. The officer approached the front passenger window. I was asked several questions about where I’m coming from, where I’m going, and what I was planning on doing in the town ahead. I answered all his questions but he stated some doubt in my answers by further questioning one of my answers as if he didn’t believe me. I then provided him the documents he wanted…license, insurance, registration. He went to his vehicle for a quick minute, and I could see the other officer appeared to be directing the lead officer to do something. The lead officer approached my drivers side window and asked me to get out, further putting my life in danger on the side of the highway. he walked a pretty good distance away from my vehicle to the front and I followed him. I looked back at my vehicle and the other officer was walking around my vehicle with a dog, and I could tell there was some sort of signaling going on between the two officers. The lead officer explained the reason he pulled me over was a failure to use my signal to change lanes. I explained I was not changing lanes and was driving in the fast lane because a couple semi trucks in the right lane had been braking and driving abnormally slow. I explained that when I passed him I was going 5 mph under the speed limit, and was not changing lanes. At that time he announced he was not going to be writing me a ticket and handed me back all my documents and said I could leave. LOL what a joke. If that is not marijuana profiling then I don’t know what it. Not speeding, not doing anything illegal. I guess I was guilty of having an out of state license plate. It was a large task force operating on I-84 as soon as I crossed into SW Idaho from Oregon. There is a rest stop area to pull over at when you enter Idaho traveling eastbound and right after the rest stop area a black semi-unmarked police vehicle was running radar. As soon as I passed the unmarked vehicle I saw his brake lights go on once and then he pulled out behind me eventually pulling me over. While I was driving before he pulled me over there were several other black unmarked police cars parked in the median facing traffic coming from Oregon. I saw approximately six black unmarked police cars in the median over a 1/2 mile and was pulled over. I used my signal to pull off to the side of the road. After being allowed to leave I noticed several other police cars but they were white and looked local or county. One I think had Sheriff decals on the side.

  3. Scott

    October 7, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I am a white male 42 yrs old. I had a rental car with CA plates. Just got back today from going to a funeral in RI. I got stopped on the way out about 50 miles before the end of Kansas. I also got stopped around Colby KS on the way back. Both times the officer lied about what he stopped me for. Totally made it up. Both times they asked to search my car. I let them because it is a 34hr drive, each way. Both times they found nothing then sent me on my way. I know if I would have send no to consent on the search that it would take much longer. I got no tickets and all verbal warnings.
    Last year I drove to Fl, got stopped 3 times going out. KS, OK, AR. And once on the way back. IL. Each time it was the same. “I pulled you over for (Insert BS excuse here), but I am not going to give you a ticket.” I assume this is so you don’t argue the BS excuse that they used to pull you over.
    I will say that this is the last time that I will do this. I used to really enjoy taking road trips but this has gotten ridiculous. And my money wont be spent in these states anymore because of these tactics.

  4. Eric

    June 10, 2014 at 2:48 am

    This is clearly unconstitutional, but aside from that these actions have another effect…..

    People don’t like being pulled over for no real reason and harassed and they won’t go into neighboring states and spend money. The I smell something, so I have the right to search you is going to wear really thin, really fast.

    What about families on vacation, I mean what, are you going to demand that they submit to search because you smell something.

    Keep in mind, you police in neighboring States to Colorado that in order for the State of Colorado to pass the legalization of marijuana, many people who have never used voted yes for legalization. Many people coming into border States like Kansas and so on have never used and we’re talking about thousands of people here.

  5. Dustin

    May 17, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    I was pulled over in Nebraska right after leaving Colorado. I live in Kansas and was vacationing in Colorado. The violation was for not signaling 100 Ft before turning. I used my turn signal but according to the state trooper not 100 Ft before turning. This was a totally bogus violation to pull me over for. From doing research I’ve found this is one of the lame excuses people are being pulled over for leaving Colorado. As well as air fresheners blocking view, swerving when they are not, and for not having a front license plate even if one is not required in your state. I was detained for 45 min for a warning ticket and interrogated for why I was coming from Colorado and if I had any marijuana. I was asked if I had any marijuana 3-5 times but never once if I had any other kind of drugs, weapons, or anything else illegal. Just marijuana.

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