Marijuana Odor Is No Longer ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ For Mass. Cops

Cannabis leaf 2Via Raw Story:

BOSTON (Reuters) – The smell of marijuana smoke is no longer enough reason for police to order someone out of a car, now that pot has been decriminalized in Massachusetts, the state’s highest court said in a decision published on Tuesday.

The ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court was in response to an appeal filed by lawyers for Benjamin Cruz from Boston, whom police ordered out of a car in 2009 when they approached the vehicle parked in front of a fire hydrant and smelled marijuana.

Cruz was later charged with possession of a class B controlled substance with intent to distribute and committing a controlled substance violation in a school zone.

The high court said a key factor in its decision was the 2008 change in state law which made possession of one ounce or less of marijuana a civil rather than a criminal offense.

“Without at least some other additional fact to bolster a reasonable suspicion of actual criminal activity, the odor of burned marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order,” the opinion said.

For more information, see original article.

8 Comments on "Marijuana Odor Is No Longer ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ For Mass. Cops"

  1. DeepCough | Apr 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |

    See, you can’t expect this sort of restoration of the Bill of Rights from the federal government, because there are too many agencies vested in the federal government maintaining current drug policy (e.g. DEA; ONDCP).

  2. DeepCough | Apr 25, 2011 at 10:46 am |

    See, you can’t expect this sort of restoration of the Bill of Rights from the federal government, because there are too many agencies vested in the federal government maintaining current drug policy (e.g. DEA; ONDCP).

    • JoiquimCouteau | Apr 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm |

      And DARE, and various “mothers against” groups, and manufacturers and distributors of THC metabolite tests, and operators of private prisons, and cops, and anyone who publishes literature condemning cannabis use, and “law and order” public officials that are “hard on drugs”, and manufacturers of recreational drugs and pharmaceuticals that might be supplanted by widespread use of cannabis.

  3. ProudAndProgressiveMA | Apr 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |

    I love living in Massachusetts…the only things that suck about MA are the winters and the obnoxious Red Sox/Patriots fans.

  4. ProudAndProgressiveMA | Apr 25, 2011 at 11:57 am |

    I love living in Massachusetts…the only things that suck about MA are the winters and the obnoxious Red Sox/Patriots fans.

  5. Anonymous | Apr 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |

    And DARE, and various “mothers against” groups, and manufacturers and distributors of THC metabolite tests, and operators of private prisons, and cops, and anyone who publishes literature condemning cannabis use, and “law and order” public officials that are “hard on drugs”, and manufacturers of recreational drugs and pharmaceuticals that might be supplanted by widespread use of cannabis.

  6. E.B. Wolf | Apr 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |

    I may need to relocate to Massachusetts.
    Que the Murphy’s law soundtrack
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-64CaD8GXw

  7. E.B. Wolf | Apr 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm |

    I may need to relocate to Massachusetts.
    Que the Murphy’s law soundtrack
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-64CaD8GXw

Comments are closed.