Thursday, August 25, 2011

UAA Justice Center and Alaska State Troopers release report on marijuana grow searches

The UAA Justice Center and the Alaska State Troopers have released a report, The Predictive Validity of Marijuana Odor Detection, by Dr. Brad Myrstol and co-author, Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Justice Center faculty. The report was commissioned by the Alaska State Troopers (AST).

The study includes an overview of the legal status of marijuana by Prof. Brandeis and an analysis of data by Dr. Myrstol from over 200 marijuana grow searches conducted by AST during the calendar years 2006, 2007, and 2008. Marijuana was found and seized in 98.5% of the cases reviewed.

The primary purpose of the study was to provide an empirical estimate of the extent to which AST investigators' detection of marijuana odors served as a reliable indicator of the presence of illegal quantities of marijuana.   Detection of marijuana odors was found to be significantly associated with the discovery of relatively large amounts of marijuana - that is, quantities of four ounces or more, as well as 25 or more plants.

Details of the project are available on the Justice Center website.

Prof. Brandeis teaches courses on American government, constitutional law and civil liberties, and is a frequent speaker on constitutional law and other legal issues. Prof. Brandeis also maintains a private law practice through which, subsequent to the date of the writing and release of this report, he provided legal representation in administrative agency proceedings for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska.