As so many legal problems do, a Worcester man’s recent arrest began with a traffic stop. He was driving his car east on the Massachusetts Turnpike when he was pulled over in Framingham. Law enforcement officials said the officer searched the man’s vehicle and found 112 grams of cocaine in the driver-side door.
The Vermont Supreme Court recently ruled against police overreach. The case of Zullo v. Vermont revolved around a 2014 traffic stop where a state trooper pulled over a young black man driving to visit a friend after work. According to news reports, the officer claimed that he pulled the man over for an obstructed license tab. He then noticed a faint scent of marijuana (which was decriminalized in Vermont) and the presence of a Visine bottle.
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.
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.
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 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.
A man from out of state was recently accused of committing a drug-related crime in Massachusetts. Specifically, he is accused of engaging in drug trafficking. His arrest for trafficking cocaine and heroin occurred on a Wednesday following a traffic stop.
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.
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.
"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.