MA Court: Pot Odor Doesn’t Justify Police Ordering Occupant Out


Massachusetts’ 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 the state, the Boston Globe reports. “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, 5 to 1.

Yesterday's ruling dismayed police and prosecutors. Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said it “presents an enormous problem for us. The logic escapes me. [ ] We will be the only state in the country where this standard is in place. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

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