Court MJ Ruling Can’t Pass Sniff Test, Police Say
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Court MJ Ruling Can’t Pass Sniff Test, Police Say
Posted by CN Staff on July 10, 2014 at 05:48:40 PT
By Owen Boss and Bob McGovern
Source: Boston Herald
Massachusetts -- Bay State lawmen are sounding off against a Supreme Judicial Court ruling yesterday that says an officer catching a whiff of unburnt weed doesn’t have cause to search a car, while legalization advocates are calling it a win for civil liberties.“How is it any different from stopping somebody with an odor of alcohol on their breath?” asked Wayne Sampson, executive director of the Mass­achusetts Chiefs of Police Association. “The same principle should apply.”
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said, “Rulings like this do nothing but handcuff the good guys and free the ones that want to go out and commit crimes against us. It is becoming harder and harder for cops to do their jobs and easier for criminals to get the cover they need.”The Supreme Judicial Court held in two unanimous decisions that police don’t have probable cause to search a vehicle if they smell a “very strong” odor of unburnt marijuana because a cop is unable to tell if there is an illegal amount in the car by smell alone.Wednesday’s decision expands a ruling made in 2011, which held that the smell of burned marijuana does not give police probable cause to search a car. Both were made possible by the 2008 ballot initiative that decriminalized possession of an ounce or less of pot.Erik Altieri, spokesman for the marijuana legalization advocacy group NORML, applauded the decision.“We’ve seen a lot of abuse by law enforcement officials who use (the odor of marijuana) as an excuse to unreasonably search people who are otherwise not exhibiting any signs of committing a crime.” Altieri said.Jack Collins, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association’s general counsel, said the ruling is another step on the way to the eventual legalization of marijuana, which he said will have dire conse­quences.“We will watch the number of motor vehicle deaths go up and people will say, ‘Oh my God, why didn’t we know this would happen?’ and the answer will be, ‘We did, we got what we asked for,’ ” Collins said.Source: Boston Herald (MA)Author: Owen Boss and Bob McGovernPublished: July 10, 2014Copyright: 2014 The Boston Herald, Inc.Website: letterstoeditor bostonherald.comURL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by JohnOBonno on July 20, 2014 at 18:01:09 PT:
"How is this any diferent from..
..stopping somebody with an odor of alcohol on their breath?" Since you've already been told what the difference is, we have to assume you aren't paying attention. The old rhetoric just doesn't work anymore, prohibs are a dying breed. At last!
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on July 11, 2014 at 00:38:24 PT
Good grief.
Get a grip. The sky is not falling. It hasn't fallen and it won't fall.
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Comment #1 posted by keydet46 on July 10, 2014 at 11:34:55 PT:
Give it up law enforcement. You have lost.
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