The smell of burnt and unburnt marijuana alone is no longer cause for New York Police Department officers to search vehicles, according a new NYPD memorandum.
The memo laying out changes in police procedure comes after the New York legalized recreational marijuana for adults on Wednesday.
Under the new policy, officers can only search vehicles if a driver appears to be under the influence of marijuana and there is probable cause to believe that they have been smoking it, or if the driver is seen smoking or vaping marijuana while operating or inside a vehicle.
“However, the trunk may not be searched unless the officer develops separate probable cause to believe the trunk contains evidence of a crime,” reads the memo.
Also, officers cannot charge an individual with the sale of marijuana by witnessing a “hand to hand exchange” of 3 ounces or less of marijuana to a person over 21 years old unless they see money being offered, according to the memo.
The new law allows adults 21 and older to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of cannabis concentrate, though it must be bought from authorized sellers.
The new guidance also states that officers “may not approach, stop or detain a parolee based on their use or possession of lawful amounts of marijuana” unless the terms of their parole specifically prohibit it.
Driving under the influence of cannabis, smoking while driving and the sale of the drug are still illegal, according to the memo.