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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.


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!

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