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Legal References

Legal References on Drug Policy

Federal Court Decisions on Drugs by Decade

1980

Year
Court
Title and Summary

1980

US District Court, District of Columbia

NORML v. Bell

The NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR The REFORM OF MARIJUANA LAWS (NORML), et al., Plaintiffs, v. Griffin B. BELL, et al., Defendants. Civ. A. No. 1897-73. United States District Court, District of Columbia. Feb. 11, 1980.

1980
US Supreme Court

UNITED STATES  v. HAVENS - No. 79-305 - 1980.SCT.1875 , 446 U.S. 620, 100 S. Ct. 1912, 64 L. Ed. 2d 559 - May 27, 1980

1980

US Supreme Court

United States v. Mendenhall    -No. 78-1821  -1980.SCT.1872, 446 U.S. 544, 100 S. Ct. 1870, 64 L. Ed. 2d 497 - May 27, 1980

Respondent, prior to trial in Federal District Court on a charge of possessing heroin with intent to distribute it, moved to suppress the introduction in evidence of the heroin on the ground that it had been acquired through an unconstitutional search and seizure by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents. At the hearing on the motion, it was established that when respondent arrived at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport on a flight from Los Angeles, two DEA agents, observing that her conduct appeared to be characteristic of persons unlawfully carrying narcotics, approached her as she was walking through the concourse, identified themselves as federal agents, and asked to see her identification and airline ticket. After respondent produced her driver's license, which was in her name, and her ticket, which was issued in another name, the agents questioned her briefly as to the discrepancy and as to how long she had been in California. After returning the ticket and driver's license to her, one of the agents asked respondent if she would accompany him to the airport DEA office for further questions, and respondent did so. At the office the agent asked respondent if she would allow a search of her person and handbag and told her that she had the right to decline the search if she desired. She responded: "Go ahead," and handed her purse to the agent. A female police officer, who arrived to conduct the search of respondent's person, also asked respondent if she consented to the search, and respondent replied that she did. When the policewoman explained that respondent would have to remove her clothing, respondent stated that she had a plane to catch and was assured that if she was carrying no narcotics there would be no problem. Respondent began to disrobe without further comment and took from her undergarments two packages, one of which appeared to contain heroin, and handed them to the policewoman. Respondent was then arrested for possessing heroin. The District Court denied the motion to suppress, concluding that the agents' conduct in initially approaching the respondent and asking to see her ticket and identification was a permissible investigative stop, based on facts justifying a suspicion of criminal activity, that respondent had accompanied the agents to the DEA office voluntarily, and that respondent voluntarily consented to the search in the DEA office. Respondent was convicted after trial, but the Court of Appeals reversed, finding that respondent had not validly consented to the search.

Held : The judgement is reversed, and the case is remanded. Pp. 550-560; 560-566.

1980
US Supreme Court

BIFULCO v. UNITED STATES - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 79-5010 - 1980.SCT.2193 , 447 U.S. 381, 100 S. Ct. 2247, 65 L. Ed. 2d 205 - June 16, 1980

1981
US Supreme Court

BLACKBURN, WARDEN   v. THOMAS - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 80-777 - 1981.SCT.840 , 450 U.S. 953, 101 S. Ct. 1413, 67 L. Ed. 2d 380, 49 U.S.L.W. 3615  - February 23, 1981

1981
US Supreme Court

ALBERNAZ ET AL. v. UNITED STATES - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 79-1709 - 1981.SCT.997 , 450 U.S. 333, 101 S. Ct. 1137, 67 L. Ed. 2d 275, 49 U.S.L.W. 4237 - March 9, 1981

1981
US Supreme Court

BALDWIN v. UNITED STATES.- SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES  - No. 80-1031.  -1981.SCT.1471 , 450 U.S. 1045, 101 S. Ct. 1767, 68 L. Ed. 2d 244, 49 U.S.L.W. 3742 - April 6, 1981

1981
US Supreme Court

STEAGALD v. UNITED STATES - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES -  No. 79-6777 - 1981.SCT.1675 , 451 U.S. 204, 101 S. Ct. 1642, 68 L. Ed. 2d 38, 49 U.S.L.W. 4418 -  April 21, 1981

1981
US Supreme Court

ESTELLE, CORRECTIONS DIRECTOR v. SMITH - No. 79-1127 - 1981.SCT.1895 , 451 U.S. 454, 101 S. Ct. 1866, 68 L. Ed. 2d 359, 49 U.S.L.W. 4490 - May 18, 1981

1981
US Supreme Court

DOE, BY DOE ET UX., HER PARENTS AND NEXT FRIENDS v. RENFROW, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE HIGHLAND COMMUNITY SCHOOL CORPORATION, ET AL. - No. 80-1306 - 1981.SCT.2167 , 451 U.S. 1022, 101 S. Ct. 3015, 69 L. Ed. 2d 395, 49 U.S.L.W. 3880 - May 26, 1981

1981
US Supreme Court

NEW YORK v. BELTON - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 80-328  -1981.SCT.2679 , 453 U.S. 454, 101 S. Ct. 2860, 69 L. Ed. 2d 768, 49 U.S.L.W. 4915 - July 1, 1981

1981

US Supreme Court

Robbins v. California -No. 80-148  -1981.SCT.2678, 453 U.S. 420, 101 S. Ct. 2841, 69 L. Ed. 2d 744, 49 U.S.L.W. 4906   -July 1, 1981

When California Highway Patrol officers stopped petitioner's station wagon for proceeding erratically, they smelled marihuana smoke as he opened the car door. In the ensuing search of the car, the officers found in the luggage compartment two packages wrapped in green opaque plastic. They then unwrapped the packages, both of which contained bricks of marihuana. Petitioner was charged with various drug offenses, and, after his pretrial motion to suppress the evidence found when the packages were unwrapped was denied, he was convicted. The California Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that the warrantless opening of the packages was constitutionally permissible since any experienced observer could reasonably have inferred from the appearance of the packages that they contained bricks of marihuana.

Held : The judgement is reversed. Pp. 423-429; 429-436.

The Honorable Justice STEWART, joined by JUSTICE BRENNAN, JUSTICE WHITE, and JUSTICE MARSHALL, concluded that the opening of the packages without a search warrant violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Pp. 423-429.

(a) A closed piece of luggage found in a lawfully searched car is constitutionally protected to the same extent as are closed pieces of luggage found anywhere else. United States v. Chadwick, 433 U.S. 1; Arkansas v. Sanders, 442 U.S. 753. Pp. 423-425.

1981
US Supreme Court

CROUCH ET AL. v. UNITED STATES. - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 81-5009. - 1981.SCT.3944 , 454 U.S. 952, 102 S. Ct. 491, 70 L. Ed. 2d 259, 50 U.S.L.W. 3299  - October 19, 1981

1982
US Supreme Court

HUTTO, DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL. v. DAVIS - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 81-23 - 1982.SCT.5 , 454 U.S. 370, 102 S. Ct. 703, 70 L. Ed. 2d 556, 50 U.S.L.W. 3540 - January 11, 1982

1982
US Supreme Court

WASHINGTON v. CHRISMAN - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 80-1349 - 1982.SCT.278 , 455 U.S. 1, 102 S. Ct. 812, 70 L. Ed. 2d 778, 50 U.S.L.W. 4133  -January 13, 1982

1982
US Supreme Court

United States v. Ross -No. 80-2209  -1982.SCT.2151, 456 U.S. 798, 102 S. Ct. 2157, 72 L. Ed. 2d 572, 50 U.S.L.W. 4580  -June 1, 1982

Held : Police officers who have legitimately stopped an automobile and who have probable cause to believe that contraband is concealed somewhere within it may conduct a warrantless search of the vehicle that is as thorough as a magistrate could authorize by warrant. Pp. 804-825.

1982
US Supreme Court

MICHIGAN v. THOMAS - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 81-593 -  1982.SCT.2658 , 458 U.S. 259, 102 S. Ct. 3079, 73 L. Ed. 2d 750, 50 U.S.L.W. 3998 - June 28, 1982

1983
US Supreme Court

FLORIDA v. ROYER -  March 23, 1983

After purchasing a one-way airline ticket to New York City at Miami International Airport under an assumed name and checking his two suitcases bearing identification tags with the same assumed name, respondent went to the concourse leading to the airline boarding area, where he was approached by two detectives, who previously had observed him and believed that his characteristics fit the so-called "drug courier profile." Upon request, but without oral consent, respondent produced his airline ticket and driver's license, which carried his correct name. When the detectives asked about the discrepancy in names, respondent explained that a friend had made the ticket reservation in the assumed name. The detectives then informed respondent that they were narcotics investigators and that they had reason to suspect him of transporting narcotics, and, without returning his airline ticket or driver's license, asked him to accompany them to a small room adjacent to the concourse. Without respondent's consent, one of the detectives retrieved respondent's luggage from the airline and brought it to the room. While he did not respond to the detectives' request that he consent to a search of the luggage, respondent produced a key and unlocked one of the suitcases in which marihuana was found. When respondent said he did not know the combination to the lock on the second suitcase but did not object to its being opened, the officers pried it open and found more marihuana. Respondent was then told he was under arrest. Following the Florida trial court's denial of his pretrial motion to suppress the evidence obtained in the search of the suitcases, respondent was convicted of felony possession of marihuana. The Florida District Court of Appeal reversed, holding that respondent had been involuntarily confined within the small room without probable cause, that at the time his consent to search was obtained, the involuntary detention had exceeded the limited restraint permitted by Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, and that such consent was therefore invalid because tainted by the unlawful confinement.

Held : The judgement is affirmed.

1983
US Supreme Court

UNITED STATES v. EIGHT THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS ($8,850) IN UNITED STATES CURRENCY -SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 81-1062 - 1983.SCT.2013 , 461 U.S. 555, 103 S. Ct. 2005, 76 L. Ed. 2d 143, 51 U.S.L.W. 4587  - May 23, 1983 

1983
US Supreme Court

ILLINOIS v. GATES ET UX. - No. 81-430 - 1983.SCT.2318 , 462 U.S. 213, 103 S. Ct. 2317, 76 L. Ed. 2d 527, 51 U.S.L.W. 4709 - June 8, 1983

1983
US Supreme Court

FLORIDA v. CASAL ET AL. - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 81-2318 - 1983.SCT.2429 , 462 U.S. 637, 103 S. Ct. 3100, 77 L. Ed. 2d 277, 51 U.S.L.W. 4827 - June 17, 1983

1983
US Supreme Court

ILLINOIS v. ANDREAS - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 81-1843 - 1983.SCT.2734 , 463 U.S. 765, 103 S. Ct. 3319, 77 L. Ed. 2d 1003, 51 U.S.L.W. 5157  - July 5, 1983

1983
US Supreme Court

BARCLAY v. FLORIDA - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES   - No. 81-6908 - 1983.SCT.2739 , 463 U.S. 939, 103 S. Ct. 3418, 77 L. Ed. 2d 1134, 51 U.S.L.W. 5206 - July 6, 1983

1984
US Supreme Court

UNITED STATES v. JACOBSEN ET AL. - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 82-1167 - 1984.SCT.1298 , 466 U.S. 109, 104 S. Ct. 1652, 80 L. Ed. 2d 85, 52 U.S.L.W. 4414 - April 2, 1984

1984
US Supreme Court

BERKEMER, SHERIFF OF FRANKLIN COUNTY, OHIO v. MCCARTY - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 83-710 - 1984.SCT.2605 , 468 U.S. 420, 104 S. Ct. 3138, 82 L. Ed. 2d 317, 52 U.S.L.W. 5023 - July 2, 1984

1984
US Supreme Court

UNITED STATES v. KARO ET AL. - No. 83-850 - 1984.SCT.2644 , 468 U.S. 705, 104 S. Ct. 3296, 82 L. Ed. 2d 530, 52 U.S.L.W. 5102 - July 3, 1984

1984
US Supreme Court

UNITED STATES v. LEON ET AL. - No. 82-1771 - 1984.SCT.2649 , 468 U.S. 897, 104 S. Ct. 3405, 82 L. Ed. 2d 677, 52 U.S.L.W. 5155 - July 5, 1984

1984
US Supreme Court

SEGURA ET AL. v. UNITED STATES -   SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES -  No. 82-5298 - 1984.SCT.2648 , 468 U.S. 796, 104 S. Ct. 3380, 82 L. Ed. 2d 599, 52 U.S.L.W. 5128 -  July 5, 1984

1984
US Supreme Court

BORCHARDT  v.   UNITED STATES. - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 83-1643. - 1984.SCT.4152 , 469 U.S. 937, 105 S. Ct. 341, 83 L. Ed. 2d 276, 53 U.S.L.W. 3315   -October 29, 1984

1984
US Supreme Court

FLORIDA v. RODRIGUEZ -  November 13, 1984

. .  respondent was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, (and) a county police officer, who had special training and experience in narcotics surveillance and apprehension, testified that he and another plainclothes officer followed respondent and his companions after they behaved in an unusual manner while leaving a ticket counter in the Miami International Airport; . . . . The court granted respondent's motion to suppress the cocaine, holding that his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments had been violated, and the Florida District Court of Appeal affirmed.

Held : Because of the public interest in suppressing illegal drug transactions and other serious crimes, a temporary detention for questioning in the case of an airport search -- even though constituting a "seizure" for Fourth Amendment purposes -- may be justified without a showing of "probable cause" if there is "articulable suspicion" that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime.

1984
US Supreme Court
UNITED STATES v. SHARPE ET AL. -   SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 83-529 - 1985.SCT.1337 , 470 U.S. 675, 105 S. Ct. 1568, 84 L. Ed. 2d 605, 53 U.S.L.W. 4346 - March 20, 1985
1984
US Supreme Court
UNITED STATES v. JACOBSEN ET AL. - No. 82-1167 - 1984.SCT.1298 , 466 U.S. 109, 104 S. Ct. 1652, 80 L. Ed. 2d 85, 52 U.S.L.W. 4414 - April 2, 1984
1985
US Supreme Court
SWEAT ET AL. v. ARKANSAS -   SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 84-49 - 1985.SCT.380 , 469 U.S. 1172, 105 S. Ct. 933, 83 L. Ed. 2d 944, 53 U.S.L.W. 3504 -  January 14, 1985
1985
US Supreme Court
UNITED STATES v.  JOHNS ET AL. - No. 83-1625 - 1985.SCT.415 , 469 U.S. 478, 105 S. Ct. 881, 83 L. Ed. 2d 890, 53 U.S.L.W. 4126 - January 21, 1985
1985
US Supreme Court
UNITED STATES v. GAGNON ET AL. - No. 84-690 - 1985.SCT.1154 , 470 U.S. 522, 105 S. Ct. 1482, 84 L. Ed. 2d 486, 53 U.S.L.W. 3665 - March 18, 1985
1985
US Supreme Court
CALIFORNIA v. CARNEY -  SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 83-859 - 1985.SCT.1974 , 471 U.S. 386, 105 S. Ct. 2066, 85 L. Ed. 2d 406, 53 U.S.L.W. 4521 - May 13, 1985
1985
US Supreme Court
BLACK, DIRECTOR, MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND HUMAN RESOURCES, ET AL.  v. ROMANO - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES  - No. 84-465 - 1985.SCT.2181 , 471 U.S. 606, 105 S. Ct. 2254, 85 L. Ed. 2d 636, 53 U.S.L.W. 4580  - May 20, 1985
1985
US Supreme Court
GARRETT v. UNITED STATES - No. 83-1842 - 1985.SCT.2348 , 471 U.S. 773, 105 S. Ct. 2407, 85 L. Ed. 2d 764, 53 U.S.L.W. 4629 - June 3, 1985
1987
US Supreme Court
MARYLAND v. GARRISON - No. 85-759 - 1987.SCT.936 , 480 U.S. 79, 107 S. Ct. 1013, 94 L. Ed. 2d 72, 55 U.S.L.W. 4190 - February 24, 1987
1987
US Supreme Court
RODRIGUEZ v. UNITED STATES - March 23, 1987

While released on a personal recognizance bond following her arrest for selling cocaine, petitioner was arrested again for selling heroin. She pleaded guilty to both charges. Although recognizing that 18 U. S. C. 3147 (1982 ed., Supp. III) required that petitioner, as a person who committed a felony while on release pending judicial proceedings, had to be sentenced to at least a 2-year term of imprisonment in addition to the sentences for the two drug offenses, the sentencing judge, relying on 18 U. S. C. 3651, suspended execution of the 3147 sentence and instead imposed a 2-year probation term as more appropriate under the circumstances. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that 3147 "" 3651, leaving federal judges without authority to suspend execution of sentences imposed under 3147.

Held : Section 3147 does not divest sentencing judges of their 3651 authority.

1987
US Supreme Court
BOURJAILY v. UNITED STATES - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES  - No. 85-6725 - 1987.SCT.2891 , 483 U.S. 171, 107 S. Ct. 2775, 97 L. Ed. 2d 144, 55 U.S.L.W. 4962 - June 23, 1987
1989
US Supreme Court
UNITED STATES v. SOKOLOW - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES -  No. 87-1295 - 1989.SCT.1668 , 490 U.S. 1, 109 S. Ct. 1581, 104 L. Ed. 2d 1, 57 U.S.L.W. 4401 -  April 3, 1989

1987
US Supreme Court

COLORADO v. BERTINE - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - No. 85-889 - 1987.SCT.287 , 479 U.S. 367, 107 S. Ct. 738, 93 L. Ed. 2d 739, 55 U.S.L.W. 4105 - January 14, 1987

1987
US Supreme Court

CALIFORNIA v. GREENWOOD ET AL. - No. 86-684 - 1988.SCT.2069 , 486 U.S. 35, 108 S. Ct. 1625, 100 L. Ed. 2d 30, 56 U.S.L.W. 4409   - May 16, 1988
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