OCEAN CITY, Md. – After July 1 in Maryland you won’t get searched for marijuana in your car, if you’re an adult.

The new law makes it illegal for police to search any person over the age of 21’s vehicle just because they smell marijuana during a traffic stop.

But Ashley Miller, the deputy communications manager at the Ocean City Police Department said that all minors need to be aware of the law.

“If you were under the age of 21, it is not legal for you to possess or consume under the new law,” Miller said. “So we have had incidents where we have searched vehicles and made arrests.”

Austin Joseph is 19 years old and lives in Maryland he said the new law violates his rights.

“If the police just smell a scent of marijuana that should be nowhere near enough to get your car searched,” Joseph said. “It’s not fair that the people that just walk by and get a secondhand smoke on them can possibly get in trouble.”

But the Ocean City Police Department said there is good reason to do these searches with cause.

“We have come across a couple of cars in the month of July that we have searched and we have found weapons,” Miller said. “That’s at least an avenue that where we are still able to get the weapons off of the street.”

“That’s our main concern is we want to make sure that everybody in the town of Ocean City is safe,” Miller said.

Some like Ron Clarkson said to him this new marijuana law is about the safety of the public.

“If they check your vehicle that goes into the safety of the kids because the teenagers are kids,” Clarkson said. “I believe that whatever they find if it’s something illegal, they should be allowed to confiscate it.”

But Joseph said there needs to be a better way to work with marijuana laws.

“Unfortunately, you need to have concrete proof that someone is high and there’s really no way to do that without blood tests or anything,” Joseph said. “I think stronger tests need to be developed for it.”

Although regardless the point of view the Ocean City Police Department caution people don’t smoke marijuana and drive.

 Although Maryland law enforcement can’t search adults vehicles for marijuana during traffic stops, they can still search minors vehicles if they smell marijuana.  Read More