Driving with license plates from a state where marijuana is legal in a state where it is not can invite law enforcement harassment.
Here are some things to remember if you find yourself in this situation.
State residency is not legal probable cause for law enforcement to initiate a traffic stop according to United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit in District of Kansas case D.C. No. 5:12-CV-04021-DDC-JPO.
“It is time to abandon the pretense that state citizenship is a permissible basis upon which to justify the detention and search of out-of-state motorists, and time to stop the practice of detention of motorists for nothing more than an out-of-state license plate,” Circuit Judge Carlos Lucero wrote.
“Absent a demonstrated extraordinary circumstance, the continued use of state residency as a justification for the fact of or continuation of a stop is impermissible,” Lucero added.
However, this does not mean that police will not have or act on suspicions based on where your license plates were issued. Because of this they will often attempt to find or even manufacture probable cause in some other way. And they will use intimidation to do so.
If a law enforcement officer spots you driving down the road with plates from Colorado, Oregon, etc. they will often decide to follow you. What they are hoping is for you to make evasive maneuvers, as such will count as suspicious behavior.
Do not try to lose them in traffic. Maintain your speed, composure and let them lead or follow you until they give up on you incriminating yourself. Do not reach around in your vehicle or act in any way that might signal you are trying to cover up any illegal activities.
Police go after easy prey, looking for those who make mistakes that signal some kind of guilt. Do not give them the satisfaction. Stay calm, cool and act as though nothing out of the ordinary is happening and you will survive your trip without any harassment from Drug War terrorists.
For more information on your rights and how to stay out the grasp of law enforcement on the road, in your home and elsewhere check out our collection of know-your-rights guides at Dank Space Videos.