The smell of change is wafting throughout the state of Massachusetts these days. As the national pendulum of public sentiment swings hard in favor of personal liberty, the state’s SJC (Supreme Judicial Court) ruled on Tuesday that cops throughout The Codfish State can no longer pull over drivers for simply suspecting the occupants of the car of being in possession of marijuana – regardless of how much it reeks.
The lopsided verdict was handed down on September 22, with the chief supporting argument largely grounded in the fact that Massachusetts’ voters decriminalized the personal possession of marijuana almost 7 years ago. Demoting any possession charges of under an ounce to little more than a small financial nuisance. Reduced from a criminal problem to a civil issue, and punishable only by a small fine.
Obviously, there are stipulations and boundaries with marijuana possession that can’t be passed: as state police spokesman David Procopio noted, “This ruling will have no impact on the observation we use to establish probable cause for drugged driving.”
In other words, the police may not be able to stop you merely on the suspicion of holding weed in your ride … even if it smells like you just ran over a skunk. Yet, they will most definitely yank your ticket to ride if they think you’re high on the chronic.
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