Marijuana: Darian Roseen's lawsuit claims cars with Colorado plates are being profiled for pot

For more than a year, we've shared stories about alleged pot profiling of cars with Colorado license plates. Examples include a Westword writer stopped twice during one cross-country trip and a man who said he'd been improperly blamed for toking by managers at a Kansas hotel.

Now, Darian Roseen, seventy, has filed a lawsuit against the Idaho State Patrol on a similar claim -- and it's not the only recent tale of preconceptions created by our familiar green-and-white tags.

Roseen's story was first reported by Fox31. According to the station, the Pagosa Springs retiree was returning home from attending his daughter's baby shower in Washington state when he was followed into an Idaho rest stop by a state trooper.

The suit maintains that Roseen's vehicle was subjected to multiple searches, including one conducted after another officer drove it to a nearby sheriff's station. In the end, though, the law enforcers found nothing. So, after allegedly declining to let Roseen contact an attorney, he was let go -- but not before he was cited for careless driving.

Mark Coonts, Roseen's Idaho-based lawyer, hasn't responded to interview requests from Westword at this writing. But in an interview with Fox31, he said, "Just because you're from Colorado doesn't mean that you're automatically carrying marijuana into our state."

The suit inspired Colorado Springs' KRDO to look into the pot-profiling topic -- and it didn't take staffers long to find folks who said they, too, had been rousted because of their license plates.

David Adkins and his girlfriend, Kay Harmon, said they'd been pulled over for no reason in Nevada this past January, by a state trooper who spent a lot of time "sniffing around" before concluding that they weren't in possession of any weed.

By the way, the trooper asserted that their Chevy Avalanche had been swerving -- which Adkins said only happened because he was watching the trooper's own vehicle behind him.

More reports of this sort popped up when KRDO asked followers of its Facebook page about pot profiling. Among the responses:

"Got pulled over in Illinois for having Colorado plates. They searched my truck and trailer."

"Yes at Rolla, Missouri. And not only do the cops pull you over, every pot head around asks us to sell to them when they see your plates."

Apparently, it's not only the police who are profiling Colorado cars these days.

Here's the Fox31 package about Roseen's lawsuit.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Marijuana archive circa March 2013: "Marijuana profiling of Colorado cars happened to me twice in one trip, says Westword writer."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts