Drug dogs false alert over 200 times in UC Davis study

One of the favorite tools of law enforcement officers looking to bust cannabis consumers is the K-9 unit (or as George Clinton once called ’em, the “dope dog”). These dogs are highly trained to use their super sense of smell to detect narcotics and explosives. Paired with a handler, they are often called in to search suspect vehicles in traffic stops and signal, or “alert” when contraband is detected.
Researchers at UC Davis decided to put the K-9s to the test and it didn’t turn out well for the cop’s best friend. These detection dogs, whose alerts are used to justify search warrants and convict cannabis consumers, gave false alerts more than 200 times.

(SF Gate) The accuracy of drug- and explosives-sniffing dogs is affected by human handlers’ beliefs, possibly in response to subtle, unintentional cues, UC Davis researchers have found.
The study, published in the January issue of the journal Animal Cognition, found that detection-dog teams erroneously “alerted,” or identified a scent, when there was no scent present more than 200 times — particularly when the handler believed that there was scent present.
“It isn’t just about how sensitive a dog’s nose is or how well-trained a dog is,” says Lisa Lit, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology and the study’s lead author. “There are cognitive factors affecting the interaction between a dog and a handler that can impact the dog’s performance.”
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/pets/detail?entry_id=82270#ixzz1D2nQC9Ir

The researchers took 18 drug dog teams to a church, where it is likely no drugs or explosives had ever been placed in the past.  The cops were told there might be up to three target scents in any one of four rooms.  If they saw a piece of red construction paper in the room, that indicated where a target scent was placed.
The first room was left untouched.  The second room had a piece of red construction paper on a cabinet.  The third room had two sausages and two tennis balls placed as decoys.  The fourth room had the decoy scents and the red paper.  However, none of the rooms had any drugs or explosives.
There shouldn’t have been any alerts, but, in fact, handlers indicated their dog had alerted in every room.  There were more alerts in rooms with red paper (which piques the cop’s interest) and no corresponding increase in rooms with sausages and tennis balls (which would pique a dog’s interest).
In other words, at best, dogs are responding to the subtle non-verbal cues of their masters to find drugs or explosives where the human thinks there should be drugs or explosives.  The cop suspects you have pot so his body language makes the dog alert.  At worst, the cop is purposefully cuing his dog to alert when he wants a handy excuse to violate your 4th Amendment rights.
Three years ago in Aspen a member of the NORML Legal Committee, Dan Monnat, gave an expert presentation of the faulty use of drug dogs to convict cannabis consumers.  Listen to the presentation below to get a good idea how law enforcement misuses the K-9’s testimony in court.
Dan Monnat – Aspen Legal Seminar 2008 – Drug Dogs

62 thoughts

  1. Sorry to sound dense—but I’m not sure what this all means. As in, besides being another example of erred technology in law enforcement, what does this suggest for pot users? If a dope dog alerts his handler and you’re not carrying, then it hardly matters; and if you are, then you got caught breaking Caesar’s laws, right? (Or is there more here…)
    [Russ responds: It means a couple of things:
    #1) Pot smokers are being busted daily through improper use of drug dogs, and
    #2) Well-trained criminal defense attorneys are going to use data like this to get evidence against you discovered through use of a drug dog thrown out of court.
    Never consent to a search. The police may threaten to go get the drug dog. Ask them if you’re officially detained and whether you may leave. If they say you may not, stay there and wait for the dog. Watch them carefully. As soon as you can, make notes of everything you remember the dog and the handler doing, and then immediately get yourself an attorney.
    And of course, STFU. Keep quiet. Use your right to remain silent. If cannabis consumers didn’t implicate themselves by what they say and allowing police searches without warrants, at least half of all marijuana arrests would be ended. Don’t make their job easy!]

  2. When I was in the Army about 28 years ago, the MP’s ran the drug dogs through my barracks. I was suprised when a DI told me the dogs alerted on my locker.
    I consented the to a search of my locker by the DI that notified me and another DI. I consented to the search because I figured the Army owned my ass and the only drugs I had in my locker were a carton of cigs and asprin or tylenol. I also had a box of cookies and candy that my mom sent me.
    Guess what the dogs alerted to. Jus’ sayin….

  3. encouraging i suppose as it could lead to the eventual elimination of a dog alerting as legal probable cause…
    wait, what was I thinking?… if reasoned,fact based info played any role in America’s cannabis prohibition policy it would have ended years ago. ah well, it was nice for the moment the idea lasted.

  4. I have to comment on this post – because I find the use of this study and its finding over the top. This study – although very interesting and warrants further research in the area – does not have any true bearing on the legalization of marijuana.
    Any true scientist can poke holes in the research method of this study that can easily discredit its use in a court room setting to try and have a search warrant thrown out: small sample size, lack of testing in a room that actually did contain drugs, lack of repeat findings.
    As for the comment above “At worst, the cop is purposefully cuing his dog to alert when he wants a handy excuse to violate your 4th Amendment rights.” This is such an inflammatory comment and comes across as quite silly because if you actually read the study they very specifically point out that this is happening “possibly in response to subtle, unintentional handler cues” – key word here being unintentional – so not “handy excuse to violate 4th Amendment rights”
    This study was conducted to further understand the communication between animals and humans – and the researcher’s conclusions…
    “It is important to recognize that these findings do not mitigate the abilities of these handler/dog teams to perform successfully. Our data, together with our previous findings and those of other researchers, continue to emphasize that many cognitive factors can affect handlers, dogs and the handler-dog dyad. Further research is required to characterize these factors in order to optimize working dog and handler performance. Also importantly, the sensitivity of dogs to social cues as suggested by this study points to the potential to develop good models to study social behavior.”
    I also find it important to point out that working dogs in this role are not just used to find “cannabis users”, they are also used to find other harder drugs, possible bombs, people trapped in emergency situations, or to locate dead bodies. Taking this study and misrepresenting the findings on the internet makes light of the good these dogs can really do.
    This is such a sad misuse of scientific research and as a strong proponent for the legalization of marijuana I am sad to see this type of blog being posted in support of reforming these laws.
    [Russ responds: If you don’t think police have misused K-9 units and purposefully caused them to alert on cannabis consumers when the officer spots a Grateful Dead sticker on a car, you are dreadfully naive. But you got me; until we can run a test that reads a handler’s mind, all we can prove is unintentional cues from human to dog.
    The point here is not to discredit the ability of a K-9 to find drugs, explosives, or even trapped or dead people. The point is that a dog is not a scientifically reliable instrument of detection and to convict cannabis consumers based on searches OK’ed by a dog and not a judge is a miscarriage of justice.
    I don’t come by these comments merely off the reading of one SF Gate story on one UC Davis study. Please listen to the Dan Monnat presentation attached. Do some research on the use of drug dogs in America. Using K-9’s for bomb detection and finding trapped or dead bodies is a completely different situation than using dogs to uncover cannabis smokers.
    Take the “Dead Sticker on a VW Bus” example. The cop pulls over the long-haired guys with some pot-friendly band sticker. The cop suspects the guys have weed, but has no probable cause. He brings over the dog and (to be fair to your point) his non-verbal cues unintentionally cause the dog to alert. A search is performed and, lo and behold, a baggie of weed is found. A-ha! The drug dog was accurate and we praise its ability and we accept the search and we bust the guys. But did the dog really smell the weed or react to the handler? If it’s the latter, we’re allowing cops to make warrant-less searches and harass people because their dog is sensitive to the cop’s body language.
    Now, take the same scenario, but no weed is found. The guys are harassed by the side of the road, all their belongings are out on the shoulder, a dog has scratched and torn all around the interior, perhaps damaging the vehicle, certainly costing these guys an hour or more out of their day. The guys will be sent on their way and the cops will justify the alert by supposing there must have been drugs in there at some time and the dog was smelling the residue (I’ve heard it from their lips in court). Now we’re allowing cops to make warrant-less searches and harass people because the cop doesn’t like your favorite band and choice of vehicle.
    To take 18 handlers through 4 rooms twice each and come up with over 200 false alerts is stunning. That’s 144 searches (18 * 4 * 2) and just half, 72, had red construction paper. Considering they were told there could be up to three target scents in each room, the maximum possible number of alerts would be 432. So 200 false alerts? I think that would cause any jury to pause…]

  5. Many times I think these animals just want to please their handlers. You get a cop that is just looking to bust marijuana users, and really hate ‘dopers.’, and this kind of thing is going to rub off on animals who are devoted to these people.

  6. Hello Russ,
    I am writing to comment on your reply to Cypress’s comment.
    Even though this study is interesting, and I agree that in an ideal world dogs would not be used to detect marijuana, the reality is that our criminal justice system uses dogs for this purpose, and has for a long time and will continue to for a long time. You’re going to have a hard time convincing a judge that the cop was giving “unintentional cues” to the dog. Any judge will laugh at that defense.
    In my opinion, if you are suspected of having weed, and you possess a small amount, and it is almost inevitable that this will be discovered, it is usually to your advantage to come clean. You have a much better chance of the cop simply confiscating the herb and warning you if you’re up front and respectful to the cop than you have of a judge throwing out your case because you insist the cop gave the dog “unintentional cues”.
    [Editor’s note: Wow. Your opinion is worse than useless, it is dangerous. Never, ever “come clean” with law enforcement unless you’re keen on arrest, prosecution and possibly prison rape! Only a fool would not assert their fourth and fifth amendment rights when encountering police trying to enforce Cannabis Prohibition laws.
    Lastly, judges don’t throw out cases because defendants admit to possessing cannabis…they punish them with fines and/or prison.]

  7. Not that I have any desire to defend prohibitionists or the encroaching police state, I can’t believe no one is asking…
    We’ve had to suffer a lot of ridiculous and dishonest prohib propaganda. One of the kinds I like the least are “studies” where an “alarming” number is given, but never a total. OK, so dogs alerted false 200x. Horrible. Once is not acceptable in my mind. Still, it would make it look a lot more important if it said:
    Drug Dogs false alert 200 times out of 1000. I can actually understand that. Need to have more integrity in reporting than the prohib Nazi’s.
    [Editor’s note: Thanks for splitting hairs. Basically, the question is, you’re either for dogs invading your privacy for cannabis or you’re not, not how the way the dogs fail to identify the presence of contraband consistently is described in a blog headline.]

  8. Just another nail in the coffin for the soon to be ending 70 year War on Marijuana. Of course dogs are notoriously inefficient at being drug warriors. In Yuma, Arizona they are running a very ruthless marijuana checkpoint with the Border Patrol just waiting for those California plates coming in and writing ticket fast and furious because the dogs make the alert. One way to foil the dogs is to have a cat in a carrier and they won’t come near your car if you’ve got a puddy cat. Nothing in this world throws off a dog more than a scent of a cat so if you’re traveling through Arizona and you know there is going to be a checkpoint bring your kitty cat and screw the feds, don’t they have anything better to do than run a pot trap in the middle of BFE?

  9. @ #6
    Cypress, Russ is right and you are wrong. A few years ago, I was driving with my brother, and he had a SAFER – safer alternative for enjoyable recreation – sticker on his backpack. Cop pulled him over for problem with license plate, and saw the sticker. Guess what happened next? You guessed it – an illegal search. But, they found nothing though.

  10. Barry Cooper told us a long time ago that the police will false alert by a making a subtle justier. So everyone knows that the drug dog thing is bullshit. But at least its becoming more exposed to the point were hopefully it would be a useable thing in court. That would stop alot of arrest. Also really people STFU say repectfully “Officer im using my right to remain silent” cant tell you how many times my friends have unknowingly gave the cops justification to search the car.But now i make sure i do all the talking and i showed them that how to handle the police video. really though if they threaten the dog most of the time its bullshit they will just let you go or give you a ticket.

  11. my school just got raided by dogs they found two things. a moldy orange and my chemistry teachers lunch=)

  12. all of u with the combative commints, r u cops, possably prosocuters. Why would u want to make it easyer on the pepole whom wish to do nothing less than take youre freedom.As far as the ghy who claims the best response is to politly give up youre contraband,you must b smokin the good sh*&. Do you like to b locked up.This is not france we dont just roll over and play dead here.If youre not willing to fight for youre selves youve alredy lost before the battle begins good luck.

  13. It is time for this Nation as a whole to address these cannabis policies that have failed to work and why. A national debate has been long over due. Time to air the facts and discuss this like reasonable human beings.
    Why then does the propagannda remain accepted by the Law?”This question should be repeatedly asked until we get an answer. This propagannda for prohibition of Cannabis is harmful to the welfare of our society and Nation.It is destructive to the relationship between citizens and law enforcement. The behavior of the gove…rnment on this issue “shock the sense of fair play.” as stated in Title 42 1963 Civil Rights Act.

  14. Wasnt there an investigation a while back about how the drug dogs got called twice as often if you were black and five times as often it you were hispanic with broken english… and then we find out the dog alerts on command… and THAT makes a search legal… So its legal to search people cause they are black or hispanic…. right?

  15. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’ve simply become very cynical about our law enforcement and goverment, but I’m sad to say that nothing in this article surprises me. I believe that our police often use various tricks (often unethical) to find ways to harass and arrest people. Of course it’s not supposed to be that way but clearly it is as this article points out.
    I also believe that our Govt very clearly knows the truth about cannabis but for selfish reasons choose to maintain it’s prohibition. Anyone who gets busted is probably considered collateral damage.
    I’m now less than a year from being considered a senior citizen (55 years old in VA) and wonder, every day, if I’ll every legally be able to consume cannabis. I’m way too healthy to get medical marijuana; but it’s not available in VA (the land of big tobacco) anyway…
    Some of our VA state representatives, like David Albo, have clearly stated that they have no interest in decriminalizing marijuana. I’m sure that he, like Brian Darling of the Heritage Foundation, will continue their use of alcohol and tobacco secure in the knowledge that it is legal and so, it’s okay…

  16. “No illegal drugs in a church”… give me a break. ‘As if’ is the phrase… if you’ve never noticed how religious hard-drug users are then, well, you know, ‘wake up’ & listen to the junkie homeless people & the junkies in prison… many are highly religious, pun intended. Drug dogs do false alerts sometimes though; that’s clear.

  17. Chain of Command?
    “… at best, dogs are responding to the subtle non-verbal cues of their masters to find drugs… where the human thinks there should be drugs…”
    “… the arresting officer is responding to the reward system of commanding officers and Commissioners for maximizing cannabis arrests– promotion, pay increase, etc….”
    “… the police are responding to the both subtly and nonsubtly manifested wishes of prosecutors, political officials…”
    “… the politicians are responding to the charm and generosity of graciously well-spoken, well-dressed, highly salaried expert lobbyists [lawbuyists] sent by the tobacco companies, whence cometh also campaign volunteer workers, contribution money, etc., etc.”
    Example: by summer 2008 the Presidential candidate receiving by far the most money from tobacco industry sources was former Mayor R. Giuliani whose “Crack down on pot” NYPD racked up world records for cannabis arrests.
    Notice, I got through all that without comparing anybody to a dog.

  18. I know that was going on during the early 1990’s when time after time, the same cops were pulling over drivers leaving Houston at a place two hundred miles away. It was reported in the local paper three or four times a week for about three months mentioning the police officers by name and their large marijuana bust. They always have a K-9 unit on stand by.

  19. Thank you Russ for responding so eloquently to these people who can’t see the wood for the trees. I wish i had an understanding like you do for this stuff, but out here in lonely old indiana, all I have is this and a few other columns to read. I think a lot of these people think that norml uses this site strictly to hate on the government and drive people to be the “rebellious stoner” who hates the system and hugs trees, not realizing that we want what cigarette smokers, coffee drinkers, and those who drink alcohol have, freedom to smoke a Joint in the privacy of our homes if we so choose, and all you are doing is supplying us with information.
    Sorry to the nay-sayers who cant actually respond to any of our sides arguments, and put Norml.org in the same column as the news casters who try to supply an opinion rather than the news. If you wanna argue syntax go to cnn, this site is for the pople who are seeing this hypocrisy for what it truly is.

  20. Who is really doing the sniffing, the dog or the handler? You give the dog the bone and it will do anything. You give the handler a badge to enforce the law is like giving the dog the bone. Human and dog brain at the same level. One does tricks and the other wants to stomp on our Constitutional rights. Give the dog another bone.

  21. the issue is the abuse of a tool that can be used to pierce the privacy of citizens… but it seems sort of a wierd outcome, since logically…
    a- if you have drugs, and the dog alerts due to signals from handler, you still had drugs and theres no way to really discern.
    b- if you DONT have drugs, and the dog alerts falsely, and you have like… a bloody knife… or something… that would seem to be easier to discern as an illegal search.
    if you get caught with what they’re searching for, how can the dogs finding be disputed? its not really possible.
    but if drug dogs alert and lead to non-drug related crime… thats an issue… not related to cannabis?
    man im high but this whole thing seems twisted out of logic
    [Russ responds: Your (a) scenario makes no difference because the ends do not justify the means. Let’s say Danny the Dealer has sixty pounds of kush in his home. Officer O’Malley really really really thinks Danny’s holding sixty pounds, but has no probable cause or proof of his suspicions. So O’Malley gets a dog and the dog alerts and they get a warrant and they bust Danny.
    Did the dog alert because it smelled the Kush? Or did the dog alert because O’Malley’s want to bust Danny made the dog alert? O’Malley’s bias makes the dog biased and therefore the dog is not an impartial detector of drugs. Remember, this dog’s alert is treated like a cop seeing contraband with his own eyes or receiving unimpeachable scientific results from a crime lab.
    But Danny had the kush! What does it matter if the dog smelled it or was just pleasing O’Malley? Well, now take away the Kush and say Danny is an volunteer at a medical marijuana cooperative. He comes home smelling like Kush every day. O’Malley still thinks Danny’s a dealer. Dog still alerts at Danny’s door, maybe even from accurately smelling Danny’s bud-stinky clothes. Now Danny’s got cops breaking down his door and ransacking his place and holding an automatic weapon to his head while he’s handcuffed on his own home floor, all because he helps cancer and AIDS patients use cannabis medicine.
    Imagine if we had a scanner that instantly detected sexual predators. Wave it at a person and you can tell who the child molesters are. Oh, except that scanner is only right 44% of the time (27% of the time if you’re Hispanic) and sometimes the scanner goes off just because the cop holding it thinks you look “pervy”.
    Would you be comfortable being scanned by the PedoScan 3000?]

  22. i live in massachusetts and i wish i could get busted by a police dog, simply because of the laws in my state. i would gladly take that ticket, frame it, and never pay it.

  23. I allowed a search, knowing i had less than a gram, yes less than a gram. I was arrested, went to court, plead 1st time offender. What a pain in the ass. That was 1997. I now tell everyone i know to never consent. Make them earn their pay. If you watch the Super Bowl, Big ben donated a k-9 unit to a local pittsburgh PD. Then he goes around the county attempting to assalt drunk 20 year olds. Which is worst. Go stiller anyways.

  24. a little off subject..do you think that egypt’s 66% under 30 years old populus likes the idea of American DEA in their country? We need a revolution in this country to abolish our dea and cut some of the president of the worlds powers before we get bit in the ass!!

  25. Set the confusion aside! Set our houses in order! It is time for this Nation as a whole to address these cannabis policies that have failed to work and why. A national debate has been long over due. Time to air the facts and discuss cannabis this like reasonable human beings. Time to end the “shock the sense of fair play.” policy of the government.
    Please sign the petitio for a National Debate on Cannabis. Help expose the lies by demanding the debate.

  26. @ 21 maxwood Chain of Command
    When every citizen is tested, for tylynol, pick your favorite pain medicine, the donkeys and the asses will jump on your test score, further along, Obama should step down with Mubarak

  27. Animals, birds, and insects love cannabis as much as we do. The dogs would probably eat the pot if their handler let them off the leash. Good Dogie! Of course – it’s entirely possible that the cop put the pot in his/her shirt and tell everybody that – “My dog ate the evidence.”

  28. The only thing I take issue with here is the implication that the dogs themselves are somehow an unreliable or inefficient tool in any kind of substance detection. That’s simply not accurate. The problem is that the dogs cannot be called to testify and explain exactly what it is they were doing. I am opposed to using dogs for drug detection purposes simply because I am opposed to any method of drug detection. If, however, one is going to search for drugs a well trained dog is certainly a useful tool. Unethical, perhaps, but damned effective. The problem is with the human handlers and their methods, not the dogs. Anyone who has seen them in action can attest to that.
    [Russ responds: I never meant to impugn the dogs’ abilities. Saying “they didn’t do well” in my post was meant to say they didn’t do well in refusing to alert when there were no drugs.]

  29. @Bill
    You’re right, dogs aren’t the problem. Racist, bigoted, unjust, biased, criminals wearing a badge that “need” unwarranted arrests in order to keep their jobs…. are the problem.
    The study is very interesting, indeed. It definitely warrants further studies.

  30. Holy Smokes. Woof. Don’t carry any contriband in your car without first thinking through what your consequences may be with the law. Then spray the outside of your car with rabbit piss or dear piss. Both these items can be found at your local huntin’ store. That shoud confuse the little K-9. Oh yeah, better not take my advice it is all wishful thinking. Just leave your stash at home and score a dime bag from the local high school dealer. He won’t ask for any ID.
    The Rev.sLeezy

  31. Further along, the chorus is getting louder…
    …Thomas Ravenel goes public against drug war in U.S.
    By Schuyler Kropf – The (Charleston) Post and Courier
    CHARLESTON — Former S.C. Treasurer Thomas Ravenel is breaking his silence and taking on America’s drug war, saying he advocates a repeal of the prohibition on drugs and calling the government’s response a failure.

  32. Make the dogs “alert” to any and all prescription medications too. Does the driver have a script for those medications? Prescription drugs are illegal without that little note from your doctor. Better verify that documentation as well, officer. Missing another way to make us an income potential. “oops, officer, I forgot my golf buddy gave me a back pill during the last round…what do you mean that’s illegal?
    Do you really want them to run the dogs through any car they pull over? “you got nothin to hide..right”? Do you know some of the money in your wallet has been in contact with cocaine.
    Quit giving our rights away. The Taliban won on 9-11.

  33. Nic@36 missed the point of my overly complex @21 dogstory. The polits are not in any near danger of attacking your right to have tylenol, pain meds etc., because those do not threaten the Empire of their handlers, Big 2WackGo, as cannabis does. In fact, tobacckgo helps sell pain medicine (used for symptoms caused by $igarette-related dizzeazes, duh?). “Big pHARMa feeds off Big 2WackGo and both fear cannabis.”
    Nic@41 did better, helping find delicious quote:
    “The simple truth is that legalizing narcotics will not make life better for our citizens, ease the level of crime and violence in our communities nor reduce the threat faced by law enforcement officers,” the International Association of Chiefs of Police says. “To suggest otherwise ignores reality.”
    Notice how they weazel around the main point by mentioning only “narcotics” and not explaining why they treat cannabis like a “narcotic” (see above).
    Jeff #34 is ON TOPIC mentioning Egypt. In 2010 the Mubarak thug regime cracked down on hashish (with well-publicized “busts” and scare propaganda like here, probably as their DEA handlers advised them to) causing a shortage and sky-high prices. Note that most hashish reaches Egypt from Morocco through Tunisia, so millions doubtless saw the Tunisian regime change as a crack in the wall, an opportunity to grab at. Hey, rightwingers, if you want to head off Brotherhood & Sharia Law, tear down that wall– legalize hashish in Egypt!

  34. Im #29 above and i still dont get it.
    Are we mad because people are getting falsely arrested, based on a dog alerting to contraband they don’t have?
    If they dont have drugs they dont get arressted. If they have drugs, but the dog “falsely” alerted … the result is we can never know.
    So, in the effort to preserve presumed innocence in all cases, we have to scrap all use of Canines in detection of all contraband.
    I dont see that as a logical conclusion when they are one tool of many, and how the tool is used can always be adjusted… but its either use them or don’t, there is not a lot of room to wedge doubt because the shortcomings are clearly defined. The discretion has been assigned to the police, and abusing this tool to get arrests means there was something there to arrest for. Whether or not its related to the search or cause is where you could argue, after the fact. I guess thats a problem but the solution is no Drug War…
    oh… well… i guess i see the point

  35. You should always exercise your Right to Remain Silent – except for one caveat – you inform the officer that you know that they can and do make the dog false alert, and you are aware of the cues they use (whether you really are or not).

  36. I would like to quote Barry Adams
    WEEP Box 8574
    Missoula, MT 59807
    Suppose you are approached by an officer of the law:
    1. Give only the information that is required. Give as little information as possible, and if there are to be possible (criminal) charges. Say nothing. Do not consent to search, try to remain silent, ask for legal help, contact friends and family, do not give them names of friends or associates, etc.
    2. If you are busted—request legal help, and/or when you stand before a Judge, alone—pro se—or with a Public Defender, or Lawyer—Innocent—request Religious Use Defense, under Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Your Lawyer, the Judge, Prosecutors, etc., all know that you have the Right to this Defense.
    3. What if you say,… you’re not religious—well, do you or do you not believe, feel, know, accept, want, will, do believe that Cannabis helps you: for sacrament, medicinal, industrial—Helps your mental health, makes you feel better. Consider your first [inhale] of cannabis, and your reaction/relationship to your first & toke’ of cannabis. Did this make you feel different, better? And/or, do you or have you had a long standing relationship to cannabis? Do you consider this a [habit] or is it your cultural practice/your lifestyle, i.e. your religious beliefs—CREED? Do you feel that you have the Religious Right to use/possess/grow/share cannabis? Or do you feel that Cannabis is just a plant? If cannabis is a significant part of your religious everyday life, you QUALIFY.
    4. Consider this: Are you committing a crime when you use/possess/grow/share cannabis or are you exercising your Unalienable Religious Right to your pursuit of happiness? Are you exercising your Right of Free Expression? (see Soapbox decision). You have the Right to Free Exercise of Religious beliefs; i.e. under due process, what goes for a Rastafarian goes for an atheist, goes for someone who just believes cannabis is good for them and is good for society. [see First Amendment, Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Rastafarian ruling, 1996.] Only you know if you have criminal intent or First Amendment intent in freely exercising your religious/political/cultural/lifestyle beliefs; ie, CREED. In Civil Rights—Race, Color, Creed—Equality!
    5. When you meet your lawyer, or Public Defender, say [I want to use Religious Use Defense.] Give him this list of cases below; or if you are pro se, check through these cases, any law library has them, and/or your lawyer or public defender can easily access them e-mail. Do not be surprised if your Lawyer, Judges, or Prosecutors, have not heard about these cases and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. However, they are bound by this Act of Congress and the Code of Judicial Conduct to help you with this Religious Use Defense.
    6. Your personal witness, plus your affidavits and expert witnesses, is your Religious Use Defense; this is what constitutes your Claim under Religious Freedom Restoration Act—see section on Judicial Relief.
    7. Under Due Process Laws, if a Rastafarian can use Religious Use Defense, someone who isn’t religious at all, or is an atheist or an agnostic or a non-believer, anyone with an intrinsic relationship to cannabis is equally protected under due process laws—see Rastafarian ruling, and U.S. Constitution.
    This not legal advice. These comments should be discussed with you legal council.

  37. Always remember that a dog is still just a dog. As a man, is still just a man. Badge or no badge, power or no power. All men are created equal, and man has been granted dominion over the animals of this planet. In the near future, only a suicidal maniac would join U.S law enforcement. Once the public starts seeing red, god help our brave men and women in law enforcement. Do’nt the realize what country they live in? When the sleeping giant that is the American people awakens, the police will run for the hills. I gaurentee it.

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