This Maryland Attorney was troubled when he found out that Rapper Snoop Dogg, AKA Calvin Broadus, is facing a misdemeanor marijuana drug charge in Texas after border agents say they found several joints on his tour bus. Let’s be honest, nobody is surprised that Snoop was “refreshing the aroma” of his tour bus, but how did they get in his tour bus in the first place, and was it even a legal search?
Actually, the law is crystal clear on this issue, warrantless searches of persons and their effects at international borders can be conducted without any degree of suspicion if the nature of the search is routine. Non-routine searches must be supported by reasonable suspicion. United States v. Montoya de Hernandez, 473 U.S. 531, 105 S.Ct. 3304 (1985), United States v. Okafor, 285 F.3d 842 (9th Cir. 2002), Davis and Moss v. State, 133 Md.App. 260 (2000).
In Snoop Dogg’s case, a border agent smelled marijuana smoke coming from the bus and ordered everyone off so that a dog could inspect the vehicle. A prescription bottle with several marijuana cigarettes was found in a trashcan, and more marijuana was found in two other containers.
This is a routine search, as Snoop Dogg’s tour bus was entering the USA, and the drug-sniffing dog was already working. A non-routine search would be if Snoop Dogg was standing outside of the border checkpoint, talking on the cell phone, and border agents approached him and performed a fairly uncomfortable body cavity search. Our advice, just doesn’t transport any controlled dangerous substance, like marijuana, across international borders, not just because it’s illegal, but more so because you will get caught, arrested, prosecuted and who wants to be in jail in Texas?