Smell of unburnt marijuana cannot justify search of car
Category: News | Posted on Thu, July, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
The Supreme Judicial Court Wednesday said that because voters decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in 2008, police officers in Massachusetts can no longer rely on the odor of unburnt marijuana to justify searching a person’s car.
In two unanimous rulings, the state’s highest court said they had already decided in 2011 that the odor of smoked marijuana by itself did not provide police with probable cause to stop people on the street or search the vehicles people are riding in.
The court said in its 2011 ruling that it would be legally inconsistent to allow police to make warrantless searches after they smell burning marijuana when citizens had decided through a statewide referendum question that law enforcement should “focus their attention elsewhere.’’
The court said Wednesday it was now extending the same reasoning to cases where the owner has not yet started smoking it. Marijuana, the court acknowledged, generates a pungent aroma, but an odor by itself does not allow police to determine whether a person has more than an ounce with them. Possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is not a crime.
“The 2008 initiative decriminalized possession of one ounce or less of marijuana under State law, and accordingly removed police authority to arrest individuals for civil violations,’’ Justice Barbara Lenk wrote for the unanimous court.
“We have held that the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot support probable cause to search a vehicle without a warrant ... [now] we hold that such odor [of unburnt marijuana], standing alone, does not provide probable cause to search an automobile.’’
The court established the new legal standard in the case of Matthew W. Overmyer, who was arrested in Pittsfield by police investigating a car crash. Responding officers noticed what the SJC called “a very strong odor of unburnt marijuana.’’
Police found one bag of marijuana in the glovebox of Overmyer’s car, and a backpack holding even more, leading police to charge him with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
The court said police could not use their noses alone to arrest Overmyer, but might have had another legally approved basis for searching his car. They ordered the case back to the district court for more proceedings.
Read more: http://www.bostonglobe.com
Brooklyn To Stop Prosecuting Possession Of Small Amounts Of Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Thu, July, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced the implementation of his policy to end the prosecution of most low-level marijuana possession cases. With this bold and smart initiative, DA Thompson is using his discretionary authority as the top law enforcement officer in Brooklyn to refocus limited law enforcement resources on serious public safety issues, address and reduce unwarranted racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and ensure that Brooklyn residents are no longer saddled with lifelong arrest records for simple possession of marijuana. In a statement released by DA Thompson, he noted that he shares responsibility with NYPD to protect public safety, but he has an additional duty “to reform and improve our criminal justice system in Brooklyn.”
Advocates applaud Thompson’s efforts to address a broken law that has led to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers being arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Over the last fifteen years, over 600,000 people have been arrested for marijuana possession in New York City – the majority of whom are young men of color, even though young white men use marijuana at higher rates. Last year, there were nearly 30,000 such arrests in New York City alone. Based on first-quarter data obtained from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, NYPD is now on track to make nearly as many marijuana possession arrests in 2014 as it did in 2013, with similarly shocking racial disparities.
“We commend DA Thompson for this powerful step toward restoring fairness and equity in the criminal justice system,” said Gabriel Sayegh, NY State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “In New York, our marijuana policies are clearly broken. Albany has yet to act, which means it’s up to municipal leaders to take action on this issue. Thompson’s smart policy will serve the cause of justice and equity in Brooklyn, and we hope district attorneys across the City and the country – as well as Mayor de Blasio and leaders in Albany – are inspired to take similar action. It’s time to end this failed war on drugs and restore sanity, equity and justice to our drug policies.”
Marijuana tourists sparking up in Colorado's ski towns
Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, July, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
DENVER — Tourists are buying up to 90% of the recreational pot sold in some Colorado ski towns, according to a new state analysis that says those visitors are pouring tens of millions of dollars into a marijuana economy that's far larger than first predicted.
The study prepared for state marijuana regulators says about 9% of Colorado residents are using marijuana at least once a month, and that previous estimates dramatically under counted the amount of marijuana consumed by heavy users. The study, released Wednesday, says 22% of users consume about 70% of the pot sold in Colorado, defining a heavy user as someone consuming a gram or more a day at least 21 days monthly.
The study also says Colorado residents will consume about 121.4 metric tons annually, while tourists will buy nearly 9 metric tons. A study by state tax officials earlier this year estimated the market at just 92 metric tons, and a separate study released last year estimated the market at 64 metric tons.
A metric ton contains 1 million grams, and the average joint contains about half a gram, according to the study. A significant amount of marijuana in Colorado is being sold as either pot-infused foods or hash oil, which contain concentrated THC.
"This analysis suggests that the Colorado marijuana market is larger than previously thought," the study says. "When combined, total resident and visitor demand is estimated to be approximately ... 130.3 metric tons in 2014. This is a substantially higher value than reported in previous estimates."
Colorado has collected $34.8 million in marijuana taxes and fees this fiscal year.
The study notes that recreational and medical marijuana stores will likely sell only about 77 metric tons of pot this year, with the rest sold on the black or gray markets. Only a small amount is actually grown by people for their own use, the study said.
What remains uncertain, the study said, is how the medical and recreational markets will mature over time. Taxes on medical marijuana are significantly lower than for recreational pot, and Colorado residents can get on the state's "red card" registry for just $15. Tourists can't get those red cards, however. The study's authors noted that red card holders haven't been switching to recreational marijuana because the taxes are so much higher.
"The potential demand for marijuana by out-of-state visitors could represent a significant portion of total retail demand. While many Colorado residents have medical marijuana cards allowing them to purchase at a lower tax rate and at a greater number of locations, out-of-state visitors must purchase from retail marijuana vendors exclusively," the study said. "Preliminary revenue and sales data from the Department of Revenue indicate that for some counties about 90 percent of all retail sales are likely to be from out-of-state visitors."
Read more: http://www.usatoday.com
Sharks Breath - Hybrid
Category: Nugs | Posted on Wed, July, 9th 2014 by THCFinder
Sharksbreath (Great White Shark x Jamaican Lambsbreath)
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