After its decriminalization at the federal level, states have begun implementing programs to oversee the production, manufacture, and distribution of hemp products. Some North Carolina farmers have been participating in a pilot program which allows the legal production of industrial hemp. Since hemp’s legalization, North Carolina faces several areas of uncertainty in enforcement of marijuana laws.
This memo, produced by the State Bureau of Investigation, highlights the issues that have arisen regarding probable cause based on sight and/or smell of suspected marijuana and officer testimony identifying a substance as marijuana. For a general primer on some of these legal issues, a blog post written by Phil Dixon is an excellent starting point.
In an effort to assist attorneys working on cases involving suspected marijuana, we have put together two draft motions for attorneys to consider. As always, an attorney must evaluate the facts of their individual case and become familiar with the applicable law to determine what legal arguments are appropriate for their case. Below are links to a draft 702 motion challenging the expert testimony of an officer and a draft motion to suppress evidence from a sight/smell stop. Please feel free to adapt them and offer any feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. IDS Forensic Resource Counsel Sarah Olson is also available to consult on the forensic evidence in your appointed cases and assist with identifying appropriate experts.