Posts Tagged ‘boston marijuana’

New Report Claims ‘New England’ Region Has Highest Rate Of Marijuana Consumption

pile of weedThe northeastern part of the United States possesses the highest rates of self-reported marijuana consumption, according to a new federal government report.

As a region, New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) rank in the top percentile for marijuana use in virtually every category surveyed — including ‘marijuana use in the past year among youths age 12 to 17,’ ‘marijuana use in the past year among persons age 18 to 25,’ ‘marijuana use in the past year among persons aged 12 and older,’ and ‘marijuana use in the past month among persons age 26 or older.’

Other states that consistently ranked in the top percentile of marijuana use in the United States are Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, and Oregon.

Nationally, the study reported “no increases in current illicit drug use occurred in any state” among those aged 12 to 17 between the years 2002-2003 and 2008-2009. The finding rebuffs claims recently made by the Drug Czar and other federal officials that the implementation of statewide medical marijuana laws – most of which were enacted between the years 1998 and 2004 — is encouraging increased use of cannabis and other illicit substances by young people.

A separate study published in June by the Marijuana Policy Project also reported, “[O]f the 13 states with available data, teen use rates have stayed the same or decreased since enacting medical marijuana laws.”

The state-by-state consumption data was compiled from the federal government’s annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which interviewed approximately 138,000 Americans age 12 and over in 2008-2009 on their use of licit and illicit substances.

Full text of the study, “State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008-2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health,” is available online from the US Department of Health and Services.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

Massachusettes Court: Odor Of Pot Not Enough To Order Suspect To Exit Car

n159100227_30026603_13661.jpeg
Photo: Flawless Hustle

Yes, I know what the car smells like, officer.
Maybe you haven’t heard about the decision from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Huge Victory In Massachusetts Limits Police Power
It’s a logical outcome of decrim, and it finally happened today. The mere odor of burning marijuana is no longer reason enough for police officers to order a person out of their car in Massachusetts, now that possession of less than an ounce of pot has been decriminalized there, the state’s highest court ruled on Tuesday.

“Without at least some other additional fact to bolster a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order,” the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in a decision written by Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, reports Martin Finucane at the Boston Globe.

RoderickNEW226.jpeg
Photo: News @ Northeastern
I like this guy: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland
According to the court, the people’s intent in passing a ballot question which decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis was “clear: possession of one ounce or less of marijuana should not be considered a serious infraction worthy of criminal sanction.”
“Ferreting out decriminalized conduct with the same fervor associated with the pursuit of serious criminal conduct is neither desired by the public not in accord with the plain language of the statute,” the court ruled.
In a long-overdue triumph of logic, the court ruled that the change in the law should — you guessed it! — affect how police behave in the field.
Justice Judith Cowin, who has since retired, wrote a dissent in the 5-1 decision. She wrote that up until this ruling, Massachusetts state law has allowed police to perform a warrantless search if they smelled burnt marijuana in a car.
“Even though possession of a small amount of marijuana is now no longer criminal, it may serve as the basis for a reasonable suspicion that activities involving marijuana, that are indeed criminal, are underway,” she wrote in a torturous example of non-logic.
“Our case law is clear that ‘the odor of marijuana is sufficiently distinctive that it alone can supply probable cause to believe that marijuana is nearby,’ ” Cowin wrote.
“The advent of decriminalization certainly has had no effect on the distinctiveness of marijuana’s odor. Nor has decriminalization affected the criminal status of numerous other activities involving marijuana,” she wrote, inadvertently revealing that her fevered imagination around what those potheads must be doing is a lot keener than is her shaky legal acumen.
Massachusetts voters in November 2008 overwhelmingly approved Question 2, which decriminalized marijuana, with backers calling for a “more sensible approach” to marijuana laws and asking law enforcement to focus on more serious and violent crimes.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 132 other followers

%d bloggers like this: