Under Massachusetts law, the odor of burnt marijuana alone does not provide sufficient suspicion of criminal activity to justify an order to exit a motor vehicle. This is based on the fact that the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is a civil infraction.
What is important to remember is that in order to require occupants of a motor vehicle to exit based on the odor of marijuana, there must be probable cause to believe that a criminal amount is present within the vehicle. It seems implausible, however, to believe that a law enforcement officer will be able to tell that there is greater than an ounce of marijuana in a vehicle based on odor alone.
An order for an occupant to exit a stopped motor vehicle based on marijuana possession or usage may also formed by an objective belief that the occupants of the vehicle possess marijuana with the intent to distribute it, or that the operator is under the influence of marijuana.
As a result, if you are stopped in and ordered out of a motor vehicle because of marijuana, contact a defense lawyer who will fight for you and your rights. Don’t go at it alone, make the call today.