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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.

What is in the Massachusetts criminal justice reform bills?

Late last month, the Massachusetts senate passed a sweeping criminal justice reform bill. The House has now followed with its version. In order for criminal justice reform to become law, the two halves of the legislature will have to agree on a final version, pass it, and send it to Governor Baker for his signature.

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.

State police plan major crackdown on marijuana-impaired driving

The Massachusetts State Police have announced plans for a crackdown on marijuana-impaired driving, even as the state continues to work on implementing legalization. Since there is no reliable test for measuring marijuana intoxication, however, the agency will be relying on officers who have received special training in how to recognize stoned drivers.

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