Odor of Marijuana and search of commercial building to be consider by Massachusetts SJC

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard oral argument on April 2 in the Commonwealth v. Long. This case raises the issues of the detection of marijuana and probable cause to search a commercial building.   In this case, two officers were conducting patrol when they noticed two vehicles parked behind a commercial building. Another officer arrived on scene, and all three secured a perimeter around the building. Upon doing so, the officers detected an overwhelming odor of unburnt marijuana. The officers also noticed that the ventilation inside the building was covered with plywood. The building was being leased to Defendant Long, who had a criminal drug history. The owner of one of the vehicles also had a prior drug history. Using these facts as support for probable cause, an application for a search warrant was made and a search warrant was issued. Defendant Long was charged with trafficking more than fifty but less than one hundred pounds of marijuana. Long filed a…

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