The Law

US Supreme Court Upholds the Fourth Amendment Right vs Home Searches With No Warrant

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police cannot bring drug-sniffing police dogs onto a suspect’s property to look for evidence without first getting a warrant for a search, a decision which may limit how investigators use dogs’ sensitive noses to search out drugs, explosives and other items hidden from human sight, sound and […]

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Judge Ireland Schools the Police

Two paragraphs were hidden away in this story Malden Council Makes Marijuana Use Punishable by Arrest, like charms in a Christmas pudding. The bulk of the article reports on Malden’s escalating punishment ethos, and a quote from Judge Ireland was included, but got no further comment. “By mandating that possession of such a small quantity […]

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Patients, Caregivers and Treatment Centers: Who Can Grow and How?

(This article first appeared in Mass Grass. It has been changed from the original publication and contains corrections.) Bill Downing Cannabis will soon be grown across the state for medical purposes. We expect most of you activists would like to grow some too. What are the chances we will be able to grow and that […]

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Distribution of Less Than One Ounce of Marijuana is Still a Crime In Massachusetts

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has ruled that while possession of a small amount of marijuana is no longer a crime, one can still be charged with an “intent to distribute” crime. In 2008, Massachusetts voters changed the law concerning marijuana, decriminalizing possession of less than one ounce. They did not go so far […]

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Massachusetts High Court: Sale Not Necessary for Intent to Distribute

Police don’t need to observe a sale for distribution charge, just individually packaged bags of marijuana – even if it’s under an ounce. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Council ruled Monday that the Bay State’s 2008 voter-approved marijuana decriminalization law did not repeal “possession with intent to distribute,” even if there is no sale and decriminalized […]

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BUSTED: Bay state drug paraphernalia laws cause confusion for students, shop owners

BUSTED: Bay state drug paraphernalia laws cause confusion for students, shop owners

Among thousands of marijuana smokers at the Boston Freedom Rally in September, one unnamed Boston University student had his drug paraphernalia confiscated by a Boston Common park ranger, despite not having traces of marijuana in it. “There were other people around smoking out of pipes,” the College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, who requested to […]

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April 29 – One Hundredth Anniversary of first Mass. law interfering with commerce in cannabis

April 29, 2011, marks the one hundredth anniversary of Massachusetts’ first law (see below) interfering with free commerce in Cannabis intended for human consumption. It was the first state law concerning Cannabis in the nation. The 1911 law required a prescription from a physician. Massachusetts’ medical users would benefit from returning to the law of 1911.  It […]

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COMMONWEALTH vs. BENJAMIN CRUZ, 459 Mass. 459 (2011)

  Present: IRELAND, SPINA, COWIN, CORDY, BOTSFORD, & GANTS, JJ. [FN1]  Controlled Substances. Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress. Search and Seizure, Threshold police inquiry, Probable cause, Automobile. Constitutional Law, Search and seizure, Investigatory stop, Reasonable suspicion, Probable cause. Threshold Police Inquiry. Probable Cause. Statute, Construction. COMPLAINT received and sworn to in the West Roxbury Division […]

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Commonwealth v. Benjamin Cruz – A monumental decision

Police cannot search people or places based solely upon the odor of burnt marijuana. At 10:00 AM on Patriots’ Day 2011, the Supreme Judicial Court issued its decision in Commonwealth v. Cruz, a case that it had under consideration since oral arguments on December 9, 2010. Ordinarily, the SJC issues decisions within 120 days of […]

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