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Deputy cites Minnesota speedster for cannabis

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Driver travelling 34 m/h over the posted limit initially denied having cannabis in the vehicle before fessing up.

A Minnesota man apparently decided it was best to fess up to the illegal cannabis inside his vehicle after getting pulled over for driving 99 miles per hour in a 65 m/h zone.

After witnessing the clear breach, a deputy with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office stopped the 26-year-old speedster from Mendota Heights at about 5:25 p.m. on Jan. 23, according to NWest Iowa. The stop occurred on the Highway 60 expressway about eight kilometres from Sibley.

Although the police do not specify the amount, some cannabis was discovered after the man admitted he had some on-board and, in fact, showed the deputy where it was.

While medicinal marijuana is legal in Minnesota, recreational cannabis is not. According to Minnesota Lawyer Referral, possessing or selling 42.5 grams or less of cannabis in the state is a misdemeanour carrying a maximum fine of US$200 ($252). Above that amount, however, and a person will face a felony charge punishable by as long as five years in prison and a fine of up to US$10,000 ($12,600).

The driver has been cited on charges of first-offence possession of a controlled substance and speeding.

The need for speed has been an issue for many a driver subsequently found with illegal cannabis.

Another Minnesota man was stopped for speeding and reckless driving last September when officers discovered about a half-kilogram of cannabis, which the driver helpfully, but unconvincingly, informed the police wasn’t his.

And last December, yet another motorist from Minnesota was charged with possession of THC with intent to deliver after being pulled over for speeding. Beyond the weed, the police found cocaine and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.

And if it’s not speeding, marijuana odour has tripped up plenty of drivers. Just this month, California Highway Patrol troopers were surprised (or not) to find cannabis after stopping a car on the corner of Stockdale Highway and Stoner Drive in Buttonwillow, Calif. The distinctive skunky odour associated with weed was enough to prompt a vehicle search.

Different U.S. states have different rules when it comes to whether or not a vehicle search can be done based on marijuana smell.

For example, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently ruled that cannabis odour alone is not justification for a warrantless search, while New York City reports that cannabis smell, either burnt or unburnt, is no longer justification for such a search.

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