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Supreme Court Needs More Probable Cause

Recently, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that in order for authorities to obtain a warrant to search a residence that is believed to harvesting a grow operation, they must prove that the occupants are not legally allowed to participate in such activities.  This recent judgement no longer allows police officers in medical marijuana states to use evidence of a home grow as their only evidence.

The ruling comes as a result of a 2013 case where the defendant Josiah H. Canning was caught illegally cultivating approximately 70 plants in his home.  Officers claim they witnessed Canning bringing home supplies from a hydroponic grow store.  They also used night vision goggles to confirm that there was lighting equipment in the home used for growing marijuana.  They also stated they smelt "herb" coming from the home as well.  However, the judge agreed to the defense’s motion to suppress the evidence in this case because  the state’s new-found medical marijuana laws now do not consider the evidence as grounds for suspected criminal activity.

“Going forward,” Massachusetts attorney Leonardo Angiulo explained, “this case seems to indicate that law enforcement need to show in search warrant applications that the issue has been investigated and provide evidence that no license authorizes the plants.”