SJC rules: odor of burnt marijuana not evidence of crime
Yesterday the SJC here in Mass made a decision as a direct result of the overwhelming approval of Ballot Question 2, the decriminalization of marijuana. The court by a 5-1 decision made the right call in a case that exemplifies how law enforcement has used the war on drugs, specifically marijuana to bolster their arrest records, waste millions of public safety dollars, while violent hard core criminals prowl our state.
This decision will have an impact on Framingham Police as they are constantly using the "smell of burnt marijuana" to gain access to homes and cars, wasting tax dollars busting low level pot smokers.
From the Globe:
The state’s highest court, overturning precedent and denying police a crime-fighting tool, ruled yesterday that the odor of marijuana smoke is not enough for officers to order a person out of a parked car, now that possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is no longer a crime in Massachusetts.
“Without at least some other additional fact to bolster a reasonable suspicion of actual criminal activity, the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order,’’ the court ruled in a 5-to-1 decision written by Chief Justice Roderick Ireland.
The justices ruled that voters, in passing the 2008 ballot question, intended that possessing an ounce or less of marijuana “should not be considered a serious infraction worthy of criminal sanction.’’
“Ferreting out decriminalized conduct with the same fervor associated with the pursuit of serious criminal conduct is neither desired by the public, nor in accord with the plain language of the statute,’’ Roderick wrote.