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The state’s 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 Massachusetts.

“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 in a 5-to-1 decision written by Chief Justice Roderick Ireland.

The justices ruled that voters, in passing the 2008 ballot question, intended that possessing an ounce or less of marijuana “should not be considered a serious infraction worthy of criminal sanction.’’

READ MORE: SJC limits response by police to marijuana
Boston Globe, April 20, 2011