The New Medical Marijuana Law and Its Impact on Criminal Cases
Something that a lot of people are interested in is question 3 on the ballot this November is legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. As referenced in the proposed question is that marijuana can be prescribed for you if you have an underlying medical condition. Of course if you don’t have a prescription and you are in possession of over an ounce of marijuana, you can still be charged with criminal possession, according to Worcester MA criminal lawyer Shane W. Surrette.
Similarly, if you are stopped in a car for a motor vehicle infraction, and the only observation by police is the odor of burnt marijuana, the police may not order you out of the vehicle, or search the vehicle based on that odor alone under Massachusetts law. The police may, however, order you out of a vehicle or conduct a search thereof if they believe you are operating while under the influence of marijuana.
Furthermore, if someone is charged with operating under the influence of marijuana and he/she has a prescription for that marijuana, a question that may arise at trial under the new law is whether they had knowledge that their use of marijuana in any amount would reduce their mental-clarity, self-control and reflexes so that their ability to operate safely was impaired. For example, does the prescription clearly indicate that if someone consumes any amount of marijuana such use may impact their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle? The government will likely argue that marijuana is similar to alcohol in that the effects are well known. The problem with such an argument is that doctors don’t prescribe alcohol.
Of course the question will have to pass first before this and similar questions will have to be answered in the court system. If, however, you have been charged with a criminal drug offense, contact an experienced Worcester Ma criminal lawyer at the link below: