Mar 252012
 

drug inspection checkpoint k-9Do You Know What To Do If You See A Sign On The Road That Says ‘Drug Inspection Checkpoint’?

Ninjasmoker and I are in the middle of one of the most epic road trips of all time. We departed from Eugene, Oregon on Wednesday, March 21 heading to Denver, Colorado. Why would we drive so far? For the 13th annual Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference of course! Oh wait, you mean why did we drive instead of fly…let’s just say that when I travel outside of Oregon, I always bring a little bit of Oregon with me. I wish I didn’t have to. If Colorado had a reciprocity agreement with Oregon, I would just fly with my mmj or purchase some mmj when I got to Denver.

However, these are not options for out of state medical marijuana cardholders that are visiting Colorado, so we had to go old school and just drive with it. The first leg of the drive was not that bad. We met up with some activists in the Reno, Nevada area which broke up the trip. It’s always fun to bring some Oregon treats to other areas that are not as fortunate as Oregon and see how people react. The look on people’s faces is priceless lol.

Everything on the trip was going well. I was driving east of Reno for the first time, and I was very excited to see Eastern Nevada and Utah. Things took a drastic turn for the worst on I-80 near Battle Mountain, Nevada. For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the fine area outside of Battle Mountain, I wouldn’t be surprised. The area is very remote, there are not that many exits, and seeing anything that is alive in such a desolate desert is rare. Ninjasmoker and I had fought the urge to smoke a bowl the few hours we had been driving from Reno, but decided to sneak one in about twenty miles before Battle Mountain. After a handful of pulls off of the pipe (Rowdy Roddy Piper is it’s name), we backed off and were looking at the scenery.

As with most road trips, we saw several orange construction signs along the freeway. We saw so many of them at this point of the trip, I didn’t really look at them anymore. However, one particular orange road sign caught my eye because it was knocked over on the ground, and the text on the sign was different than my sub-conscience was used to I suppose. I was pretty sure that the sign read, ‘Drug Inspection Checkpoint K-9 1 Mile’…to which I reacted with the comment, ‘what the f#ck was that?’ while pointing like I had just seen a dead body.

Ninjasmoker asked me why I was so worked up all of a sudden. As I was explaining to him what I thought I saw, sure enough, there were more signs lining both sides of the road that indeed read ‘Drug Inspection Checkpoint K-9 1 Mile.’ Instantly Ninjasmoker started spraying Axe body spray like his life depended on it. I slowed down a little bit and rapidly thought in my head about what we should do. Ninjasmoker and I drive more than any other humans I have ever met. For instance, in the last two months we have driven from Oregon to Los Angeles three times, in addition to this Denver trip. Not one time, ever, have we seen or heard of a drug checkpoint. All of our mmj was in a heat sealed bag inside of a duffle bag, underneath a bunch of other bags in the trunk, but that provided little reassurance in this time of need.

We essentially had three choices as I saw it. 1) We could do an illegal, unsafe U-turn on the freeway and head back the other way. 2) We could take the next exit and turn around. 3) We could just face the music and keep driving straight. The unsafe U-turn did not seem desirable, as we were driving a small car and would probably get mangled when we went off-road. Having K-9′s walking around my car didn’t seem like a good idea either, so we decided to take the next exit…That was until we saw about 10 unmarked police trucks, 10 marked patrol cars, and 5 SUV’s. As much as I didn’t want to face the impending drug inspection point up the road, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I didn’t want to drive into that swarm of hate!

So, begrudgingly, I kept driving. I thought it was weird that there wasn’t a traffic jam as a result of bringing so many vehicles to a screeching halt on a 75 mile an hour freeway. We were going over some hills, so seeing into the distance was difficult. I expected the drug inspection point to be just over the horizon. We drove for what seemed to be a mile, discussing the legalities of such a search. Then we drove what seemed to be two miles…then three…After awhile I began to wonder what the scoop was with this K-9 roadside shakedown. ‘Did we just barely miss the checkpoint, and drive by when they were just getting ready to set up?’ I asked Ninjasmoker. We agreed that we would take the next exit into Battle Mountain, provided that there wasn’t a law enforcement convention going on like the last exit we were going to take.

After our heart rates were back to normal, we started to wrap our heads around what just happened. As with most scenarios when we need answers, we Googled ‘drug inspection checkpoint.’ What we found out was mind blowing, and VERY important for all marijuana consumers to know. Below is information provided by Flex Your Rights:

“There isn’t exactly such a thing as a drug checkpoint. In City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, the Supreme Court found random drug checkpoints unconstitutional in 2000. Since then, police (particularly in the mid-west) have gotten into the habit of putting signs up warning drivers of upcoming drug checkpoints and then detaining and searching drivers who make illegal u-turns or desperately fling contraband from their vehicles. These checkpoint-like fake checkpoints serve as the functional equivalent of a checkpoint without violating the Court’s prohibition against checkpoints.

We’ve received several emails about this practice over the past couple years and we’ve mentioned it in our presentations, but perhaps this is something that deserves more attention. The prodigious Drug WarRant blogger Peter Guither encountered one of these non-checkpoints over the Thanksgiving weekend, and had some very interesting observations. Most notably, the sign warning of an upcoming drug checkpoint was located shortly before a rest area exit ramp, the intended result being that drivers wishing to avoid the checkpoint would pull in. Peter did not stop, but observed officers in the rest area parking lot using dogs to sniff approaching vehicles.

As practiced previously, the fake checkpoint tactic often took place on open stretches of highway, provoking illegal u-turns into oncoming traffic and the disposal of contraband onto the roadside…By steering alarmed motorists into a canine-infested rest area, police could circumvent the need to trigger traffic violations as a pretext for drug searches.”

Lucky for us, we made the right decision, despite the fact that it went against all of my instincts. As I stated before in the story, I was planning on taking the next exit until I saw the swarm of cops waiting. Had we not had our stuff in the trunk, maybe we would have considered throwing it out of the window. Maybe we would have made a U-turn had we been in a different car. There are a number of things that could have went different, but thanks to luck, suspicion, and quick reactions, we were fortunate. Make sure to know what to do in the event that you see one of these fake drug checkpoints. Also, make sure to tell everyone that you know what to do in such a situation. These are not common on the West Coast, but it sounds like they are common in the Mid-West. If you have seen one of these fake drug checkpoints, please leave comments below so that others can find out about their presence in certain areas.

These fake drug checkpoints are unsafe, and unproductive. Since the freeway speed limit is 75 on the stretch of I-80 that we were driving on, most people were driving a little bit over at around 80 miles per hour (even the semi trucks). It is not safe for a triple trailer to try to slow down from 80 miles an hour to a complete stop, which is what’s suggested by the fake road signs. How many cars slow down or lock up their brakes when they see these signs? I-80 is a major freeway, and causing chaos between it’s lanes is insane.

What example does that set for society? Cops can blatantly lie in order to get around the fact that their actions were found to be unconstitutional? Is that the message we should be sending children? ‘OK Sally, we are going to have to pull over up here and talk to some cops and doggies, don’t be scared…’ Two miles down the road, ‘OK Sally, sometimes cops have to tell lies in order to do their jobs. You don’t lie yourself, but just be OK with the fact that cops do.’

Does it seem crazy to anyone else that the cops are encouraging people to litter and throw drugs onto the side of the freeway? Last time I checked, inmates are the ones cleaning the sides of that freeway. I wonder how many of those inmates have found hardcore drugs on the side of the road and took them back to prison with them? Or for that matter, how many people have stopped on the side of the road to check a tire or get something out of the trunk and stumbled across some meth? I understand that cops are trying to get drugs off the street, but fake drug checkpoints literally does the opposite of that.

What if people were legitimately taking that particular exit? As I stated before it’s a desolate area, however, the exit was made for a reason. Someone lives near there. What if they were running to the store, which is a multi-hour trip from the area we were at, and when the residents came back there was a small army of cops and K-9s that had set up in the meantime? The cops are obviously out for blood, and I doubt they would believe the people when they explained that they were just heading home. I’m sure the cops would say something like, ‘Sure buddy, like we haven’t heard that before from the other people we have set up earlier today.’ It’s only after the legitimate exit users were put through a traumatic experience and nothing was found that they are then allowed to go about their lives.

How do TWB readers feel about this? Are you someone that likes smaller government, limited government intrusion, and using police resources in a safe, logical, constitutional way? I know I am. How many cops were taken away from their regular duties to sit along the side of the road and hope that something might happen? What if no one took the bait? That’s countless officers and K-9s that could have been out raiding meth labs, or catching chimos, or just about anything else that is worthwhile. I will never understand how it is constitutional to fake an unconstitutional act in order to achieve the same end result.

To me, this is like if someone put up a ‘whites only’ sign on their business door, but didn’t enforce it, and somehow that was found to be constitutional because the people weren’t actually discriminating, they were just pretending to do so. At the end of the day, people would be having their rights violated if they followed the instructions from the fake sign at the business, and the business owner would get the same result as if they actually enforced what the sign said. To me, it’s the same situation with the cops, and just as it’s ludicrous to think the business sign example is OK, it is also ludicrous to think that what the cops are doing with fake drug checkpoints is OK. Please, spread the word far and wide. Research this issue for yourself and add any information that you think I have missed. EVERYONE needs to know about this practice so that no one falls victim to the overzealous cops’ tactics. Below is the link to the Supreme Court case which determined that fake drug checkpoints are illegal (for all of my fellow legal nerds):

http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2000/2000_99_1030

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • eating_sunshine

    You will be passing close to where I live, here in Utah, please take me with you. :)  Hope you enjoyed the rocky mountain high on your way through. Â
    BY the way John Denver, who wrote, Rocky Mountain High was a stoner from Colorado.Â

  • Ranger

    ” don’t fallow leaders and watch you parking meters”

  • Brandy

    Me and my boyfriend were busted on i80 in ottowa, IL. We were on our last leg of a long journey from San Fran back to Rhode Island. We didnt encounter any of these signs that I have heard about since my ordeal but what we did encounter was an unmarked SUV sitting in one of those crossover roads between i80 east and west. We had the cruise control set to 64 because the speed limit had just decreased from 75 to 65 and we were very careful to go 1 mph under. As we passed the SUV it swung out after us and proceeded to hit the lights. We nervously pulled over and provided our license and registration as requested and was told we would be on our way. To make a long story short we werent sent on our way we were hauled off to jail and charged with a class x felony which is the same charge you would recieve if you murdered someone or molested a child. The class. X felony carries a mandatory non probationabal charge of 6-30 years in prison. I have never been in trouble before this and I am 36 years old. They had a dog in the unmarked SUV which did not alert according to police reports and our car was searched even after we did not consent. Now I am fighting a 35 thousand dollar battle, 15k for bail and 20k for a well known attorney who is seasoned in this kind of injustice. But what else can I do but fight its not fair and I wasn’t transporting meth or crack or something that’s killing people everyday but I did have a good amount of maryjane which we were taking home to enjoy. I was told this is an everyday occurrence in that county. Not long after it happened to us an actress from Californication, same place same bogus story. We were stopped for “speeding” and this is often why people are stopped but the real reason is we were simply driving in a rental car with out of state plates. If you look like your too far from home and they happen to be waiting in that median looking for just that you are screwed. I don’t belong in jail, I know I did something illegal but me in jail with crackheads and killers is only going to do one thing and that is take a good person and turn me into an animal. Because again, I have no choice but to fight in a place where I don’t belong, am not familiar with the rules of prison life, am not a fighter in the outside world, and really just am not built like that. Next week I will go back to Ottowa and have my 3rd and probably final court appearance where I will either be sentenced to jail or take a deal and give the “big guy” up. Wish me luck. I don’t have money like one of the “big guys” who usually have no problem getting off which is ironic because they are actually the ones doing the most business and innocent people like me have to beg and borrow and hand over every paycheck for a lawyer that may save my life. I don’t want the rest of my life to be screwed because I had a miscarriage and 20k worth of medical bills because the company I worked for didn’t offer health insurance and this was a way to make a quick 2k. Seems ridiculous when I think about it now. Seemed like so much money back then. Now it’s going to change the rest of my life. It’s all about money. They want it and as long as youve got it your probably gonna be okay.

    • Guy Christopher

      Brandy; I feel so sorry for your plight.  You were a target of discrimination; being in a car with out of state plates (arn’t most cars on an interstate hiway from another state?).  Soon, these bastards as well as all the crooked polotitions; lawyers; bankers; cops; will be mass arrested; and our country will be replaced with a new, fair and just system…watch for it to happen, in the very near future.  We are being watched, by beings far more intelligent then us; and they are concerned that we are destroying our planet; and will intervene.  Look up “Federation of Lights” on Facebook.

    • freddie

      what happened with the case in Ottowa..? Jail or Free..???!!

  • Craigs_ad

    Here in the South, actual drug checkpoints are a fact of life.  Georgia and Florida both use them every spring and summer on traffic traveling the north south route for spring breakers headed for Panama City Beach. If you are leaving Atlanta headed for Panama City Beach, take the back roads.   Obscure back roads.

  • Mikewm15

    Here is a question for ya. Why has no one taken the bull by the horns and video taped these illegal actions being performed by these thugs that want to be called cops. In my day cops were peace officers now they are the biggest thugs on the planet. I say bring charges against the thugs, this “fake” bullshit drug search is still in violation of the supreme court. BOOK EM DANNO.

  • Faxonine

    Yeah its a common occurrence in Kansas. I-35 frequently has these signs and like Brandy said, they specifically look for out of state plates. Be careful. :)

  • johnny15150

    great article , I know people who fell victim to illegal searches and had 2 monkeys killd by cops.

    cops love weed!  all they have to do is say I SMELL marihuana ,and you have no civil rights.
    If you are travelling with large sums of cash they will confiscate it and keep it.
    drug forfeitures are a source of income for LEO

    I live in Los Angeles and they set up Sobriety checkpoints on a sat night ,arrest hundreds in a BIGLOTS parking lot  tow trucks lined up  to confiscate cars

    mostly immigrants with no license.
    George Orwells 1984 is no sci-fi movie

    We live in a police-state
    prisons for profit = slavery

    Cops spend all of the resources chasing cannabis suppliers ,using the media to further political agendas
    real crimes take a back seat
    drug use in the US has not been affected

    And the war machine keeps turning!

  • Guy Christopher

    I have never seen one; but its been a long time since i flew by Battle Mountain at 80mph….I think this action by the police is deplorable; unconstitutional, unfair and dangerous.  And I agree, that their resoourses could have much more been appreciated stopping 90mph drivers; truckers doing the same; and other suspicious activities; instead of innocent drivers crossing the country.  What are we coming too:   Gastapo actions….the police must really be hard up to meet their quota of arrests and confications….and finally; so what???   Marijuana does not impair your driving ability; it simply relaxes you and makes the long boring drive more enjoyable; and, you do not weave, swerve, make quick actions, making it dangerous for others; and does not impair your eyesight (obviously) or make such a major reaction to your reaction time; or process of thought….This is so stupid; and obviously something some nitwit thought up; to make more arrests; and to keep their job.

  • http://free-n-legal.blogspot.com/ Anthony Gill

    It seems you guys in the USA have at least some constitutional protections. In Australia we regularly suffer groups of police officers with sniffer dogs patrolling  busy train stations and almost every public or music event is now thoroughly policed. You are sniffed and or searched as you wait to enter and sniffer dogs roam amongst the crowd once inside.
    They are not permitted to ask for our personal details unless drugs are found but they often do if the dog indicates a “presence” even if they find nothing. This all goes on the record and public sniffer dog searches are the most frequently reported complaint against the police.

    Most states now have random roadside drug testing units that quite often have sniffer dogs on board to go through your car while you submit to a saliva test. It is now an offense to drive with “any” level of drugs (except alcohol) in your blood and if a person is injured in an accident drivers must submit to a mandatory blood test. You are considered DUI even if that last puff was weeks ago. I would hate to think what would happen to someone testing positive for weeks old pot traces in the blood in the case of a fatality.

    One thing we don’t have yet which the USA does, is such broad property forfeiture laws. I find it unbelievable that they can take your property so easily. If the war on (people who use other) Drugs is not defeated soon I fear for our future in this new global police state. We have now entered “neo-dark ages” and drug users are the new witches. Soon the cops may also “burn one down” so to speak.

    • http://www.facebook.com/DragonDoctor Bo Shaffer

       When you travel, don’t be holding, but rub weed all over yourself…it will drive the dogs crazy and after a while they will be considered ineffective and stop using them.

      • painkills2

        I like this idea. Except for the dogs going crazy part…

  • http://www.kimsidwell.com/mmj Kim S

    I had this exact same experience a few years ago outside of Lawrence, Kansas… there were signs everywhere and cops at the exits, but never passed a check point. Thanks for the post, makes sense now.

  • http://www.kimsidwell.com/mmj Kim S

    I had this exact same experience a few years ago outside of Lawrence, Kansas… there were signs everywhere and cops at the exits, but never passed a check point. Thanks for the post, makes sense now.

  • Tina B702

    These signs were posted on the I-15 northbound from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City for the last 3 days.
    The cops were using the same tactics as described above.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001880964777 Herb Budman

    cops are pigs!!!

  • Highallday

    If you are looking to keep your cannabis hidden to the sense of smell.
    I would highly recommend you went to GonzoBags.com and checked out their bags.
    I have received these bags with some good ass killer bud in them through the mail.Â
    You wouldn’t have a problem getting them past a K-9 search unit if they were hidden well enough.
    But the bottom line. If you don’t use these bags you are increasing the chances of your goods being sniffed out. Give them a try you wont be disappointed. I use as hell wasn’t they get the job done.

  • luvmaryjane

    the cops in lil ol Arkansas City, Kansas do this alllllllllllllllll the time, because what the hell else do they have to do in a small town with nothing going on?  their motto here is not to protect and serve, but to harass and irritate

  • Clasiccarguy39

    hey i have been going to cali and been a check point before border with dogs serching cars and people for drugs

  • GuestwiththeBest

    I-55 – Chicago to St. Louis, I made frequent runs and passed TWO of these, both times with a stash in the car!  After the heart attack I had from continuing forward ahead, it was anti-climactic, cos I never saw the hubbub!  The cops must have waited further off the exit, because they were not visible from highway.  Additionally, next to the signs warning of impending doom, there was a cop car pulled on the shoulder of each side of the road with their trunks open. I guess that makes them look official… but both cars were empty, no cops inside.  Glad you cleared this up for me and are sharing with the world.  Glad to add my experiences too, so anyone traveling I-55 can be aware! Â

    • Johnny oneye

      those cars have cameras running all the time , big brother!

  • Beel420

    The
    greatest terror threat to US Citizens comes from those who have been
    photographed in front of the American Flag — not from someone who kneels
    head-first on a prayer-rug facing east 5 times a day!

  • http://gplus.to/novenator novenator

    I’ve had a nasty encounter with an “immigration and drug” checkpoint outside of Yuma, Arizona one time a couple years ago.  It was not a border crossing, it was not an agricultural checkpoint, it was just an INS stationed facility where they stopped all the cars.  At first it looked like I was being flagged through, but I stopped to ask what the checkpoint was for, and they then asked me to pull over to the search area.Â

    When approached, I did my best to exercise my constitutional rights (in particular the 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure).  I refused to answer any of their questions, and kept asking them “Am I being detained?  Can I  go?”.  They refused to answer either of the questions, and kept asking me if they could search my car to which I replied, “I do not consent to any searches.”Â

    Eventually a supervisor somehow convinced me to exit the vehicle (I still don’t know how or why I complied with that one) and claimed they had the authority to search my vehicle because a dog supposedly smelled something (I had no drugs or undocumented immigrants in the car), and they had the authority to search based on some law (I can’t recall which at the moment).  I believe it is the basis for the ‘constitution-free zone’ that the ACLU highlights here: http://www.aclu.org/national-security_technology-and-liberty/are-you-living-constitution-free-zone

    They brought the dog into the front of the car where I could reach things (which I believe is the area that cops can search if you get pulled over for any or no reason), found nothing, and sent me on my way.  I recorded much of the event on video camera and got the name of the supervisor, but chose not to pursue any legal action because it would be an epic investment of my time.

    I would highly suggest that people fight for their rights however.  Understand your constitutional protections, and never, ever give consent for anything no matter what the case.  Freedom evaporates unless we exercise it, or at least make an effort to.

  • Lori keller

    Back in the early 90′s the Idaho and Oregon state police were doing this on the border line between Marsing Idaho, and Jordan Valley Oregon. They did it for some time, however, rumor has it that they did get into trouble for it, and they did stop doing it.Â

    • Lojackell

      They were stopping every vehicle and searching though.

    • ifudntwntyurfrdmi’lltakeit

      Rumor has it wrong. My wife and I were traveling through there yesterday on our way back to Reno and she got pulled over for speeding while passing another vehicle.After we pulled over we could see several law enforcement and civilian vehicles pulled over about 100 yards up the road. As the officer was approaching our vehicle from the rear a guy in camouflage pants approached from the front and walked toward the rear. The highway patrolman took both of our licences and told us to keep our hands in sight as he walked back to his car. I am 64 and my wife is 59. We were cordial and non threatening but the guy in camouflage walked back to highway patrol vehicle and we could see him constantly staring at us as we looked back through the rear view mirror. After about a half hour of us just sitting and waiting and wondering what was going on up ahead the officer finally brought our papers and the citation back to us and as he did the person in camouflage approached us from the other side with his gun drawn. The officer seemed kind of paranoid to me and i wondered i f they were going to search our vehicle and further delay us. They didn’t, but as we drove past the other vehicles up ahead several of them were being searched with their stuff scattered around their vehicles. For all of you who have the “if you don’t have anything to hide ” mentality don’t worry . The police state will be happy to hide your liberty under the guise of protecting those same liberties while you lick their boots.

      • painkills2

        Like protecting us from terrorists while spying on us digitally.

    • painkills2

      A lot of money has been poured into the War on Drugs since the early 90′s. Looks like these illegal drug checkpoints have multiplied. I guess they work, arrest a lot of people, or they wouldn’t keep using them.

      • Anthony Cincotti

        They don’t do it because it works, they do it to justify their bloated budgets, and the lucrative overtime pay they receive to hang out Jaw Jacking while waiting for a fish to take the bait.

      • Anthony Cincotti

        They don’t do it because it works, they do it to justify their bloated budgets, and the lucrative overtime pay they receive to hang out Jaw Jacking while waiting for a fish to take the bait.

  • GLENWOODCORY

    In Missouri, on I-44 2 miles west of St-Roberts going to Rolla thay do the same thing. The way it is setup ,you dont have time to think about it ,you’ll just react  and pull onto offramp. So be prepared.        If you would ,when you are giving info to this site ,please give exact location of this kind of illegal pig activity.   THANK YOU

    • Ssgtsnip

      I went thru one on I 64 yesterday heading to Louisville ky. MESSAGE TO EVERYONE!! DON’T PULL ONTO THE RAMP!!! They wait up there with there lights off waiting for you to panic and take the exit.

  • Nick

    Clear violation of the 4th amendment, it was already decided in Indianapolis v. Edmond. At least I thought so.

  • EricWeed44

    Don’t bring your medical cannabis anywhere you go for there is a proper venue to use it……

    • painkills2

      At least if you want to keep your freedom…

  • ericweed

    When
    you are utilizing medical marijuana and got arrested for it, probability are
    there are, you have quite a few concerns. One of the worthy inquiries well
    worth inquiring about is what the top notch offender defense is. The fact is
    there are many varying elements that impact on the possession accuse and by
    being aware of them you can have a better realizing of that you are in for.

  • EricWeed44

    check out the place first where you are going,whether it’s legal to carry some cannabis there before bringing some….LA Marijuana Dispensaries

  • Chock

    I Made it through the el centro checkpoint with an ounce. There was dogs xray cameras and about 10 officers every 50 feet. I’m lucky to be here.

  • hstik

    These ‘checkpoints’ are fairly common on interstate highways in the Carolinas. Don’t panic and don’t exit!

    • buckethead

      Where exactly? I’ve lived in SC for most of my life and travel all over SC/NC and have not once seen any signs like this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bee-Ann/100003185662843 Bee Ann

    Strange that you were worried , actually funny as hell !

    • painkills2

      Not so strange that they were worried, but surely funny as hell afterwards. (smiley face)

  • jorge arroyo

    It’s about time for nationwide decriminalization if not legalization.
    -jorge
    mascarillaparaelacne.org

  • Bill

    Had this scam pulled on us last night and I took the exit to walk our dog, who had been riding 200 miles without a pee break. Police surrounded my truck and questioned my girlfriend and I seperately, I was walking the dog and she was waiting in the truck. Nothing happened, no drugs, but this is a very disturbing practice. Wish I had known that this was a ruse. I’d have loved to give the cops some thoughts of my own. I have served this country for years of my early life and today I am 17 years into my profession of choice. It’s bad enough they want to take my guns, now we are going to allow illeagal searches. I sure hope this is not the direction our country is heading. Young people, PLEASE educate yourself and start doing something to help yourselves and our country get out of this funk. The older people in this country are depending on the new generation to set some of this crap straight. That’s all I have to say about that!

  • Haley

    Yep they just did this in Springdale, AR but luckily I went my better instincts and just kept driving.

    • Jordan

      Thanks for the heads up. I live in Conway, north of Little Rock.

  • Ari Asulin

    If you don’t like illegal stops, then petition to have it changed in your backwards ass state.

    Don’t blame the entire country. Gets you blog hits and makes no sense.

    • Anthony Cincotti

      Actually Ari, this “tactic” is spreading throughout the nation. Cops have figured out that it is an incredibly easy way to earn that fat overtime paycheck… Expect it to become more and more pervasive if it remains unchecked.

    • Anthony Cincotti

      Actually Ari, this “tactic” is spreading throughout the nation. Cops have figured out that it is an incredibly easy way to earn that fat overtime paycheck… Expect it to become more and more pervasive if it remains unchecked.

  • bluntqueen

    its entrapment thats illegal too

    • painkills2

      So to stop it from happening, does a victim have to sue somebody?

  • Ross Long

    Oh yes, they do this in Kansas. And they take EVERY vehicle off of I-70 in both directions. Teams of cops and dogs sniffed EVERY vehicle. I found out later that they were actually looking for stolen explosives from the Kansas City area. This may have been before 2000. Their sign said Narcotics checkpoint, all vehicles must exit.

    • Ross Long

      BTW, there is nothing whatsoever new about this practice. It actually started in Florida back in the 80′s which started all the racial profiling BS. Drug dealers and drug runners simply adjusted by making sure their couriers were white and that they “matched” the kind of vehicle they were driving….

      • A’Eric Rector Halsey

        Asian driving a minivan = safest profile to not be targeted

    • jay

      okay so i have kansas plates and was thinking about bringing back like 3-4 lbs in a subwoofer is that sketch? keep in mind I’m white and i look like a frat kid.

  • stork

    Kansas has em on I-70 and the exit that is immediately after the signs is an exit to nowhere… basically the exit goes to a ranch or something, but there is no reason to be taking that exit, it even says No Services! But if you have Colorado plates and drive across Kansas they will pull you over for anything… following too close, staying in the left lane too long, a rabbit’s foot hanging from your rearview…. seriously!

    • painkills2

      If you drive a red car, or a sports car, or if you have a cannabis bumper sticker, if you’re a person of color, if you wave at a cop when you drive by, if you stare at a cop as you drive by, if you’re eating Funyuns, picking you’re nose or singing a stupid pop song…

      • Jade

        I just heard about this red car thing today. What is the deal with that? If you drive a red car, you’re more likely to get pulled over?

        • painkills2

          Police keep a look out for sports cars and red cars and flashy cars because these drivers are thought to speed more than others. I’ve never seen statistics on this so I don’t know if it’s true or not. But it seems to me like it’s a lazy way of finding speeders.

        • Guest

          people with red yellow or bright/loud color vehicles statistically screw up more.

    • Mkrylee

      Yup, always one about 20 minutes before Topeka, Kansas heading East on I-70 that says Currency & Drug Inspection–Drug Dogs In Use. Just stay on the highway. Better luck next time po-pos.

  • mike

    Aug 2012 on the Harley heading to Sturgis legally strapped and riding dirty I came up on a “Weapons & Drug check point ahead” sign on I-29 NB in SD. Kind of a welcome to SD bikers sign to the 1/2 million bikers that will spend 10′s of million$ over the next 10 days in SD. Cruise control was set 5 over and it was through a city with exits. I keep riding and never saw a cop car. But I must say my butt did pucker a little.
    Most pussy cops could not catch a bad guy if they held up a donut shop, let alone me. Been riding dirty all over the lower 48 over the last 40 years and never been busted. Let’s make it legal so I can unpucker!

    • Jordan

      Knock on wood brother. A month after I started smoking at 18 I was caught.
      I was one of the lucky few whose life wasn’t utterly and completely destroyed by the Drug War. Thank my parents for that all the time.

  • Sean Spring

    Mayfield, OHIO, on I-271 does this crap, and have found NOTHING so far…

  • Mike Katz

    On I-80 about 40 miles west of Lincoln Nebraska. My wife and I were on our way to a Disturbed concert in Kearney when I saw a sign saying drug checkpoint ahead one mile. We were going to get off at next exit until we saw all the cops sitting at that exit. We kept going and missed the whole dam thing. It is always there all the time. So be careful coming through Nebraska.

  • Tbone

    Maybe someone should put together a nationwide class action suit against the goverment for infringement of constitutional rights . Now is the time for the people of AMERICA HOME OF THE FREE ! To start protesting and bring class action suits against the goverment for allowing all the different states and cities to put laws into place that infringe on our rights . At the border I can see that but to have my car searched just because I’m speeding or I have a tag light out on my car ! If we don’t start doing something we will be living in prison ! These are the things our great founding fathers fought against England for . What’s next walking into our private homes and searching for no reason ? Taking our guns, bats, and any possessions they want to help themselves to ! These are simple rights our country was built on . Our young people need to stop parting and start protesting and fighting back ! Or they won’t have any rights !

    • painkills2

      Sorry. You lost me dude.

  • Abe Gold

    In Arizona they use a different tactic. Officer will get right on your bumper and see if you react. If you do you’ll get pulled over. Espically near the Fed training center in Globe.
    We do have checkpoints near the border, on the border. Use EXTREME caution on I-8 and expect hassles!
    Cops now carry a strip that they swab the headliner of your car. Tells them how long it’s been since the car was smoked in, a reason for a DUI. Safer now to get out of your car to smoke.

  • Patientsfor Patients

    Indiana is bad all interstates

  • painkills2

    “Is that the message we should be sending children? ‘OK Sally, we are going to have to pull over up here and talk to some cops and doggies, don’t be scared…’ Two miles down the road, ‘OK Sally, sometimes cops have to tell lies in order to do their jobs. You don’t lie yourself, but just be OK with the fact that cops do.’”

    At least it sounds like this Sally girl is being raised by parents that tell her the truth. :-)

  • Ken Olson

    I just want to say that Utah, Colorado even isn’t remotely the midwest.

    I’m sure everyone on the coast just look at anything outside of the Pacific/Atlantic as a flyover state, but since you seem to be a stickler for detail, I thought mentioning that the Rockies and the midwest are two completely different things would be helpful for you in the future.

    Good story though, and smart thinking!

  • Deb

    October 11, 2013. Left Idaho on 97 heading into Oregon towards Winnemucka Nevada. We saw 8 cars from oncoming traffic pulled over by Idaho police. Some had two police cars next to them. One had a dog sniffing the car. Went further down the road, and saw a staging area with about 10 more police cars lined up and a trailer. As we went by we saw a oncoming car go by and a police car pulled out immediately. After we passed, we saw the orange flags warning of the Drug checkpoint in English and Spanish. We kept on going to the Border. We had nothing on us but just the idea was annoying.

    • HT

      I have made that trip many times from work in Nevada to my place in Montana, I would say the check point is set up 30%-40% of the time in the little corner of Oregon on US 95 so don’t get complacent just because you see it is Oregon. I distinctly remember one time they had a young couple in a VW van with all their belongings spread out on the side of the road, quite Gestapoish, truly menacing. However the only other menace friends have encountered in that part of the country is armed Mexican growers in the nearby mountains with huge operations, my friends were bow hunting at the time. I hunt that same area for birds and am now always on the alert. Seems our freedoms are being attacked from all fronts, both domestic and foreign. Thanks for the advice to all, I have always just kept on driving and let Karma take its course.

  • Anthony Cincotti

    Will these prohibitionist wackjobs stop at nothing? Tactics like this are counter-productive in many ways, the worst of which is it breeds distrust and fear of the police. One of the biggest casualties of our failed drug policy is our faith in law enforcement has been shattered. I for one am going to engage in a counter tactic. I will be keeping a large ziplock bag of Oregano in my car from now on, and when I encounter this, it’s going right out the window. I may get a littering ticket, but it will be worth it. Do what you can to LEGALLY undermine their efforts at every turn. After the 50th time maybe they will get the hint that we are on to them.

    • painkills2

      This would be a great plan but… Seems like the cops would be more pissed at me for being a smart ass.

      • Anthony Cincotti

        The whole point of civil disobedience isn’t to avoid making some jack booted thug feel better about what they are doing. I am fine with being thought of as a smart ass (Last time i checked, SmartAssery was not a crime.) by a gang of dumbasses. :)

        I am perfectly willing to be arrested for my principles, and more people are gaining this same perspective every day. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to go to jail, (Retired law enforcement officers don’t tend to do well in GenPop, lol) but I do not agree with the direction “Law enforcement” is heading. The more we take it, the more they will take.

        But be smart about it, the first thing you can do to protect yourself from them fabricating outright lies to justify their harassment is to video all interactions with law enforcement personnel.

        The second thing is, protect that video from seizure. Find an app such as Bambuser http://bambuser.com/phones. so that it is streamed to a offsite location. Make sure you are obvious about it. State right from the beginning that you are recording the encounter, that it is streaming live and being archived offsite. This will not make them happy, but it might encourage them to behave. When asked why you feel the need to record, my favorite response is, “I have seen numerous cases of police abuse on sites such as youtube and on the news and now I have a fear of the police, and I have no knowledge of you, your honesty or your personal ethics.”

        Do not turn it into an attack on them personally, that only escalates things. Be polite but firm. Be articulate. Don’t scream, “I know my rights!” Show you know them by your statements and actions.

        Third, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! Spend some time researching things like, “How to survive a police encounter” etc… Your freedom, and life could very well depend on it. (Run a search for Innocent * killed by police if you need examples of why your fear is justified.) The officer will try to convince you that it is illegal to record him, but again, KNOW THE LAW. With the exception of 2 states, unless the officer has a reasonable expectation of privacy (Which he does not in a public place) you are within your legal rights provided the recording isn’t done surreptitiously.

        Again, these tactics are not for everyone, if your not willing to be arrested and possibly spending the night (or possibly weekend if it happens to be a Friday) in jail, even with the knowledge that you won’t be prosecuted if you are indeed acting within the scope of your rights, then don’t do this.

        But if your convictions are strong and your last nerve with these abuses of authority has completely worn away, then stand up and challenge the powers that be.

        I am a public speaker with LEAP.cc and several pro medical marijuana groups and realize that this can, will and has made me a target for harassment and again, I am OK with that. I don’t like it, but I accept it as a fact of life. Those that buck the system will be targeted by it. It’s just the nature of the beast.

        I don’t want to come off like I am a noble, self-sacrificing martyr, because I am not. I am just an outspoken asshole that is completely fed up, lol! .

        I just feel that if these things are not checked, and checked quick, the nation I love will become one that isn’t worthy of love or respect and that really scares me.

        An honest man in a truly free society, who is not harming others should not have to fear the police, harassment and/or arrest, but that is no longer the case in America.

        • painkills2

          In Texas, SmartAssery IS a crime… And it turns out, it only angers the police when you know your rights — depending on how unlucky you are, they can treat you even worse for speaking up. (I’d rather not have a gun in my face ever again, thank you very much.)

          Thanks for the tips. Since I usually travel alone, I have adopted the policy of saying nothing. Rank and serial number. But since I’m white, I’m usually not bothered (you know, except for…).

          It is difficult to challenge the powers that be when you depend on the powers that be. I want to thank you for speaking out through LEAP, an important and influential group. It is unfortunate that you are harassed for doing so, but I’m guessing that means you are doing a great job at it. :)

          • Anthony Cincotti

            Thanks for the kind words. It is pathetic how so many law enforcement officers treat “Contempt of Cop” as if it is an actual crime, and will make something up to support their assertions of criminal wrongdoing, Hence the Camera. :)

            I enjoy speaking about what LEAP stands for because even if I reach one person, that is one less person that is going to buy into the B.S. war on drugs. Bonus, people talk to people, particularly when they encounter new information that flies in the face of their preconceived notions. :)

      • Anthony Cincotti

        The whole point of civil disobedience isn’t to avoid making some jack booted thug feel better about what they are doing. I am fine with being thought of as a smart ass (Last time i checked, SmartAssery was not a crime.) by a gang of dumbasses. :)

        I am perfectly willing to be arrested for my principles, and more people are gaining this same perspective every day. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to go to jail, (Retired law enforcement officers don’t tend to do well in GenPop, lol) but I do not agree with the direction “Law enforcement” is heading. The more we take it, the more they will take.

        But be smart about it, the first thing you can do to protect yourself from them fabricating outright lies to justify their harassment is to video all interactions with law enforcement personnel.

        The second thing is, protect that video from seizure. Find an app such as Bambuser http://bambuser.com/phones. so that it is streamed to a offsite location. Make sure you are obvious about it. State right from the beginning that you are recording the encounter, that it is streaming live and being archived offsite. This will not make them happy, but it might encourage them to behave. When asked why you feel the need to record, my favorite response is, “I have seen numerous cases of police abuse on sites such as youtube and on the news and now I have a fear of the police, and I have no knowledge of you, your honesty or your personal ethics.”

        Do not turn it into an attack on them personally, that only escalates things. Be polite but firm. Be articulate. Don’t scream, “I know my rights!” Show you know them by your statements and actions.

        Third, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! Spend some time researching things like, “How to survive a police encounter” etc… Your freedom, and life could very well depend on it. (Run a search for Innocent * killed by police if you need examples of why your fear is justified.) The officer will try to convince you that it is illegal to record him, but again, KNOW THE LAW. With the exception of 2 states, unless the officer has a reasonable expectation of privacy (Which he does not in a public place) you are within your legal rights provided the recording isn’t done surreptitiously.

        Again, these tactics are not for everyone, if your not willing to be arrested and possibly spending the night (or possibly weekend if it happens to be a Friday) in jail, even with the knowledge that you won’t be prosecuted if you are indeed acting within the scope of your rights, then don’t do this.

        But if your convictions are strong and your last nerve with these abuses of authority has completely worn away, then stand up and challenge the powers that be.

        I am a public speaker with LEAP.cc and several pro medical marijuana groups and realize that this can, will and has made me a target for harassment and again, I am OK with that. I don’t like it, but I accept it as a fact of life. Those that buck the system will be targeted by it. It’s just the nature of the beast.

        I don’t want to come off like I am a noble, self-sacrificing martyr, because I am not. I am just an outspoken asshole that is completely fed up, lol! .

        I just feel that if these things are not checked, and checked quick, the nation I love will become one that isn’t worthy of love or respect and that really scares me.

        An honest man in a truly free society, who is not harming others should not have to fear the police, harassment and/or arrest, but that is no longer the case in America.

    • painkills2

      This would be a great plan but… Seems like the cops would be more pissed at me for being a smart ass.

  • Anthony Cincotti

    Will these prohibitionist wackjobs stop at nothing? Tactics like this are counter-productive in many ways, the worst of which is it breeds distrust and fear of the police. One of the biggest casualties of our failed drug policy is our faith in law enforcement has been shattered. I for one am going to engage in a counter tactic. I will be keeping a large ziplock bag of Oregano in my car from now on, and when I encounter this, it’s going right out the window. I may get a littering ticket, but it will be worth it. Do what you can to LEGALLY undermine their efforts at every turn. After the 50th time maybe they will get the hint that we are on to them.

  • Jade

    I-80 in NE. no particular place, usually just in the middle of the state. I have heard that there are a lot of cops 60 miles east of the Colorado border for obvious reasons. As far as being able to see cops on the exit ramp, I’ve never seen that in Nebraska. So they must be learning that they should hide their vehicles better.I was never forced to get off of the interstate if I didn’t choose to and didn’t go through any checkpoints unlike some of these people who are saying that the cops actually do the checkpoint and search random cars.

  • Hukdeep

    Keep driving! The checkpoint is set up on the first exit after the sign. You take the exit and you are screwed.
    It is illegal to stop traffic on an interstate for a drug bust.

  • Cheryl Apfel Wise

    Longtime practice along I-44 in Missouri between Ft. Leonard Wood and Rolla.

  • Cannabis.Pro

    Saw this on I-80 in Kansas in 2011, and at the following exit were 4 squad cars.

    • kukucachu

      I-80 in Nebraska or I-70 in Kansas?

      • Cannabis.Pro

        It was the 70… Oops. Between Salina & Topeka or Topeka & Kansas City.