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Police train to better recognize drivers intoxicated on marijuana

The legalization of marijuana use Massachusetts has prompted law enforcement to train to better recognize drivers under the influence. The two-day training is called Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and is the first step towards certification in drug recognition. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with additional input from the Association of Chiefs of Police and others in law enforcement developed it.

Oversight and laws in place for marijuana businesses and usage

Just about everyone knows the impact that previous marijuana laws had upon Worcester. Now the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) is taking steps to rectify the fact that Worcester was one of 29 cities that were disproportionately affected by the enforcement of previous cannabis laws.

Opioid epidemic still rages in Worcester

The national opioid epidemic has not overlooked the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. However, there has been some good news for the state: according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the number of fatal overdoses has gone down an estimated 10 percent in 2017.

Driving under the influence of pot still a subjective call

Driving under the influence of marijuana -- or any other controlled substance -- is illegal even if recreational pot use is now okay in Massachusetts. However, while protocols for measuring the blood alcohol content is well establish through a variety of tests in the field and at the station, this is not the case for marijuana.

Fentanyl: Understanding this dangerous opioid

The widespread opioid crisis has affected millions of people in the United States. It seem as if everyone has a friend, family member or coworker who has experienced opioid addiction. There is currently a nationwide effort to curb the abuse of opioids, but combating these dangerous drugs will be an uphill battle.

ACLU calls for thousands more tainted drug cases to be dismissed

"The Amherst drug lab crisis represents a complete collapse of the criminal justice system," reads a petition submitted to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Committee for Public Counsel Services' Public Defender Division, Hampden County Lawyers for Justice, and the law firm of Fick & Marx, LLP.

Gov. Baker wants higher penalties for drug deals ending in death

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has proposed a new penalty for drug dealers when the substances they sell end in the user's death. Currently, there is no state statute specifically touching on the issue. The proposed new law would require a mandatory-minimum sentence of five years and a possible penalty of life imprisonment for drug distribution causing death.

Is the Justice Dept. about to crack down on marijuana possession?

The presidential Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is scheduled to release a report this week. Criminal justice reformers fear it will signal a major crackdown on marijuana -- even in states where it is legal.

When should the tragedy of an overdose become a criminal act?

A 30-year-old Pennsylvania woman has been charged with aggravated assault on a newborn after she overdosed while seven months pregnant. It's a tragic story, made only more so by the shortsightedness and mistakes that appear to have contributed to the events.

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