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With marijuana becoming officially legal this week, “driving while high” is the biggest concern for police under the new legalization laws.
Is there going to be a big increase in incidents of operating under the influence of marijuana in Massachusetts? There is no evidence to suggest legalization in other states caused a spike in impaired driving. A to the degree that marijuana OUI is a problem, it is probably something that has already been with us for some time. [Read more…]
A terrible law that required a license suspension for any drug conviction has been repealed! This is great news!
Today, the Governor signed a bill repealing that pointless law, and giving people a reasonable chance to get their lives back together even if they’ve been convicted for drug possession.
The automatic suspension of your driver’s license law was passed in 1989 as part of the “War on Drugs”. Any criminal drug charge, including simple marijuana possession, mandated a license suspension of 6 months to up to 5 years, and a $500 fee to reinstate your license after the suspension period passed. [Read more…]
If you have been arrested or contacted by the police who are threatening you with serious drug charges, that is a very scary situation. Increasingly, police are using these threats to try to get people to cooperate with them in drug investigations.
Confidential Informants (or CI’s) have always been a tool used by police to acquire inside information about criminal activity. But informing for the police can be very dangerous, and the promises the police make in order to get an informant’s cooperation are not reliable or accurate. [Read more…]
Cops are a problem.
Of course, not all cops are bad, and not all cops oppose decriminalization and legalization. There are actually lots of decent police officers in the community who would much rather be doing actual public safety than busting harmless pot smokers. And the fine folks at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition have been tirelessly pointing this out and doing fantastic advocacy work.
But far too many police officers are simply behind the times. They are stuck in old ways of thinking. They were weaned on enforcing the war on drugs, running DARE programs for kids, and absorbing prohibitionist propaganda.
But ALL cops are going to have to adapt to a future that we are creating after decriminalization and, soon, legalization. Because the capacity of police to cause enormous problems for harmless marijuana smokers remains far too high. [Read more…]
In a further expansion and clarification of search laws, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unanimously ruled that the smell of unburnt or fresh marijuana does not give police officers probable cause to order a search of a vehicle or person.