Have you ever heard the phrase, “little hinges swing big doors?” The sentiment behind this saying is a perfect way to describe the topic I would like to discuss today. The matter in question is weed, and how even smoking just a little can lead to big consequences. These consequences play out every day, in every city, in every state across America. In such states like Indiana, where smoking weed is still illegal, this is especially true.

You may not personally agree with smoking weed. In fact, I had a client the other day who was telling me all about his philosophy on the topic, and how smoking weed was wrong. I believe that it is everyone’s right to have their own opinions and thoughts on these matters. That being said, until weed is legalized, it still poses a problem. Let me take you through a scenario that I have seen time and time again as a defense attorney.

You are stopped for a minor traffic infraction or traffic crime. It might be that your license is suspended, the tint on your windows is too dark, or your license plate is in the wrong place. The reasons to be stopped are too many to go through, but the point is, that it all starts with a traffic stop. You pull over and are waiting for the officer to come to the car. Your mind starts spinning, you know you have been smoking weed. The officer approaches the car, and what do they smell? Once they smell the marijuana, whether it be burnt or raw, they then have the right to say, “Mr. or Ms. ________, will you please step out of the car?” The scent of marijuana they picked up on has given them probable cause to remove you from the vehicle and search your car.

For many people in these situations, maybe smoking weed is not the only thing they have going on! What happens when in addition to smoking a little weed, they have pills or a large quantity of more serious drugs? What if there is a gun in the car they do not have a license for? This is the path so many cases take. It all begins with a traffic stop, the officer smells marijuana which leads to a search, a search that then turns up something much more serious.

You have gone from smoking a little bit of weed, to now having a big case. The next time you think about smoking and getting behind the wheel, or the next time you are in the car with your boys, and they want to roll one up and smoke, you may want to consider the way that scenario could play out. I am not condoning it or telling anybody to break the law, but I know full well that there are some people who are not going to stop smoking. All I ask is that you consider the phrase, “little hinges swing big doors.” Remember, a little weed can lead to a big case.