Question: I have heard that police can come to your house for a ‘knock and talk.’ I am a patient and am scared they will smell marijuana and come busting in. How can I protect myself?
You are right to be scared, as we know many stories of this happening. As soon as the police smell (or think they smell) marijuana, most police officers think this is an invitation to forcibly push their way into your home without a warrant.
The best advice? Never open the door. If you cannot resist the urge to talk – most people can’t – then open a window. Tell them to go away. If the cops force their way inside your home, do NOT resist, this will only make things worse. Remember they have guns presumed authority. You can always file suit against them for trespass or a Section 1983 excessive force lawsuit after the fact. Repeatedly tell them you are a patient/caregiver as you are handcuffed. Have the card in your pocket or in your hand if you cannot resist the urge to open the door. Best practice is to not talk at all about anything. Zip the lip.
We have witnessed vice officers testify in court that once the door was opened and they smelled a “strong odor of marijuana” they could legally enter the house, sans warrant, over the homeowner’s vehement objection to “preserve evidence.” Remember, the police cannot lookup your address ahead of time to see if you are a patient/caregiver. When in doubt – don’t open the door. Your home is your castle.