State appeals court: Pot search lawful despite hemp similarity

Hemp buds
Hemp buds(Lowell Rose)
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 4:22 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina’s intermediate-level appeals court has ruled in a case involving the challenges of prosecuting a marijuana charge when hemp is lawful and looks and smells the same as pot.

Tuesday’s state Court of Appeals ruling found no errors related to the conviction of a man stopped by Duplin County officers in 2017. The defendant - Derek Highsmith - sought at his trial to suppress evidence obtained through a search of a vehicle after a K-9 alerted officers to possible drugs inside.

The appeals court agreed the trial judge adequately explained there were other factors that gave officers probable cause to conduct the search.

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