Alaska Court Narrows Marijuana Search Law

Alaska Court Narrows Marijuana Search Law
Posted by CN Staff on August 27, 2004 at 21:30:15 PT
By Matt Volz, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Anchorage, Alaska - Police cannot execute a search warrant in a person's home for possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana, the Alaska Court of Appeals ruled Friday.The court ruled in the case of Leo Richardson Crocker Jr., who was charged with controlled substance misconduct after police, acting on a tip, searched his home and found marijuana and growing equipment.
A lower court ruled the search warrant that led to the arrest should have never been issued and suppressed the evidence against Crocker. The appeals court agreed.To execute a search warrant, police must have reason to believe the amount of marijuana exceeds 4 ounces or is being used in connection with a crime, the appeals court said.Attorney General Gregg Renkes said the ruling could hamstring police efforts to stop marijuana growers. He planned to appeal to the state Supreme Court."It will be rare that there will be someone who can provide eyewitness information to the amount of marijuana in a growing operation," Renkes said. "At this point, the only way to get a search warrant is for someone to testify to the size of the crop."Prosecutors argued that the earlier decisions did not legalize marijuana possession in the home, insisting a warrant can be issued if there is probable cause to believe there is any marijuana in a residence.The court dismissed that argument, saying lower-court rulings defined a constitutional limit to the government's ability to prohibit marijuana possession.The opinion is the latest in a series of decisions that have carved out protections for possessing marijuana in an Alaska home.The state Supreme Court in 1975 ruled that an adult's rights to limited marijuana possession was protected under the state constitution's privacy provisions. Last year, the Appeals Court defined that limit as 4 ounces.The Appeals Court also struck down a 1990 voter initiative that criminalized possession of any amount of marijuana. Source: Associated Press Author: Matt Volz, Associated PressPublished:  August 28, 2004 Copyright: 2004 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:Free Hemp in Alaska To Vote on MJ Decriminalization To Vote on Pot Legalization in '04 Alaska Police Told to Keep Probing Pot Use Court: Drug Ban Unconstitutional
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on August 31, 2004 at 13:04:59 PT
Related Article from KTVA
Marijuana RulingBy Heidi LorangerAugust 31, 2004
Big changes for drug enforcement in Alaska. Friday, the Alaska Court of Appeals ruled that police cannot obtain a warrant to search a home for marijuana unless they have probable cause that more than four ounces are inside. It's a decision, that raises as many questions as it answers.Many people are looking at the decision as a privacy issue wrapped around the ability to smoke marijuana freely. The decision basically re-legalizes marijuana in private homes."There is a laid back attitude towards marijuana use among adults and I don't think there is anything really wrong with that," says local attorney Ken Jacobus. He says the recent appeals court ruling basically reaffirms how people feel about marijuana in Alaska and says he does not think it will hamper serious prosecution of large grow operations. "It's going to be an additional burden to us, " says Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement Captain Ed Harrington. He says the number of grow operations has remained steady over the years. "I think we're going to have to work quite a bit harder to come up with enough probably cause to show that somebody is growing a commercial amount of marijuana," says Harrington.The state will appeal the decision to the Alaska Supreme Court. Governor Frank Murkowski has expressed his concerns citing substance abuse and the fact that the appeals court rejected Alaskan voters' 1990 decision to recriminalize marijuana.Keeping in mind that it is still illegal under federal law to use or possess the drug, there are still many questions that remain, many of which could be answered depending on a November vote whether or not to legalize all amounts of marijuana. Some of those questions include, where the boundaries of privacy in the home begin and end, and whether or not cases will be turned over to the Feds for prosecution. It's now up to the Attorney General to review the case and make recommendations on how the state should proceed. We do know their first step is an appeal of the ruling.,1413,163~29969~2371286,00.html
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Comment #7 posted by John Tyler on August 28, 2004 at 06:36:57 PT
police hamstrung indeed
What a load of BS! Isn't it amazing that the smallest increase in personal freedom causes such a reaction from the prohibitionist crowd. You have to wonder what their agenda really is. Way to go Alaska! Another inch on the road to freedom.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on August 28, 2004 at 06:14:27 PT
From A to Z
In some ways and at some times, a person still doesn’t feel anything.In some ways, the way the way people feel Cannabis is the same way that they feel Christ God Our Father and the Spirit of Truth. You can not prove either.420AlaskaFrom A to ZZion We Bee;Whole Family.
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Comment #5 posted by siege on August 28, 2004 at 00:02:33 PT
government's ability to prohibit marijuana possess
The court dismissed that argument, saying lower-court rulings defined a constitutional limit to the government's ability to prohibit marijuana possession.Alaska Court of Appeals ruledAttorney General Gregg Renkes said the ruling could hamstring police efforts to stop marijuana growers. He planned to appeal to the state Supreme Court.Alaska Appellate Courts... The supreme court was established by the Alaska Constitution, and the court of appeals was created by the Alaska Legislature in 1980. ... - 13k - Cached - Similar pages
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on August 27, 2004 at 22:31:24 PT
I Don't Feel Anything
Oh Virgil I haven't heard that in a long time. You're right.
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Comment #3 posted by Virgil on August 27, 2004 at 22:27:27 PT
9 weeks until the vote
I joined the Juneau Empire newspaper's messageboard. I got about 3 days of contribution in before the management shut down the website. There was already an enlightened one there that had the most offensive personal attack I have ever seen on a messageboard. The Juneau Empire is another prohibitionist whoring the fraud of cannabis prohibition anyway. I was hoping to learn something about Alaska. I am particularly interested in how Exxon has avoided paying one penny of the fine imposed for the oil spill from the Valdeze.It is only 9 weeks and 3 days until the election. We will see what kind of intelligent life there is in Alaska. You have to think that cannabis is good for cabin fever when the cold and long nights send people into a type of hibernation.The classic line of all first time users has to be "I don't feel anything." I wonder what would happen if a cannabis crusader could have someone over at the house and burn one during a conversation on the fraud that needs to end with the upcoming vote. I think it would be funny in video of a series of people saying "I don't feel anything" alternated between the lies of Walter's saying it is a dangerous drug, it is worse than cocaine and heroin, the treatment centers treat mostly potsmokers and so on.I wonder why that is that you really don't feel the cannabliss with the first joint. I remember saying "I don't feel anything" several times with my first joint. It may have even been the third time before the change lead to a verbal "whooooaaaa." It is not short-term memory loss that hurts the recollection as it was over 25 years ago.The vote 4 years ago was up around 40% and it was strongly worded as it called for reparations to those convicted under such bogus laws as we see with cannabis. The words were carefully chosen this time and the call for the restoration of a truer freedom has been circulating for some time in Alaska. In all seriousness, I have to believe this iniative will pass. 
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Comment #2 posted by cloud7 on August 27, 2004 at 21:47:54 PT
Fantastic news!!
GO ALASKA!!"Attorney General Gregg Renkes said the ruling could hamstring police efforts to stop marijuana growers."Poor Gregg, what a bitter pill for him to swallow.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 27, 2004 at 21:31:19 PT
Good News!
I just really like good news!
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