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Month: January 2024

Illinois Supreme Court Determining Whether the Odor of Cannabis is Cause for Vehicle Searches

Illinois Supreme Court Determining Whether the Odor of Cannabis is Cause for Vehicle Searches

The Illinois Supreme Court was presented with two cases of people getting pulled over and having their vehicles searched because officers smelled marijuana. In one case, the driver got pulled over for going three miles over the speed limit and having a loose license plate. Upon getting pulled over, the officer smelled cannabis and searched the vehicle. In both cases, the lawyers argued that the odor is not reason enough for vehicles to be searched because marijuana is legal in the state of Illinois.

​In September 2023, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed that marijuana odor is not reason enough for vehicles to be searched. State supreme courts in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont have determined that the odor of cannabis is not enough reason for a vehicle to be searched. In Wisconsin the state supreme court ruled in favor of searching a vehicle when the odor of cannabis is detected.

Attorney John Heiderscheidt says, “I am looking forward to an opinion from the State Supreme Court on this issue. Whether the odor of marijuana gives probable cause or reasonable suspicion for an encounter with law enforcement has turned into a problematic question for courts. I don’t think the Court will create a new ‘brightline’ rule, but I do believe they’ll clarify that the odor of cannabis no longer justifies probable cause in and of itself.” 

Chicago’s Migrant Crisis

Chicago's Migrant Crisis

Chicago’s migrant crisis is sprawling in to the suburbs. Since August 2022, over 25,000 migrants have been transported from Texas to Chicago by bus. Chicago is a “sanctuary city” for migrants. As a large number of migrants continue coming into the city and now the suburbs, city officials are scrambling to find shelter and assistance for them.

Suburbs such as Woodstock and Hinsdale have begun taking matters into their own hands by implementing ordinances to prevent buses from dropping migrants off unannounced in their communities. The winter weather is posing a great challenge to the city and suburbs as shelters are becoming overcrowded.    

Attorney John W. Heiderscheidt says, “the migrant crisis will continue to spiral at unsustainable rates until the City Council or the Mayor figure out how to coordinate with DHS to stop southern border states from bussing migrants indiscriminately across the country. Our current policies are unfair to migrants and tax-paying residents alike. Asylum seekers and long-time community residents each deserve solutions that comport with due process.”

​In recent days, Governor Pritzker has called on the US government for help with the overflow of migrants in the city and suburbs. 


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