As a result of a ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, law enforcement must now prove that a home grow operation is not property licensed in order to obtain a warrant.
Previously, police could use evidence of home grow as the sole basis for a warrant, which was considered “probable cause.”
The ruling comes in response to a 2013 case where defendant Josiah H. Canning was arrested for cultivating roughly 70 plants in his home. However, as a result of Massachusetts’ ballot measure in 2012 that legalized medical marijuana, the courts ruled that while Canning was in fact growing marijuana, the probable cause used to obtain the warrant did not determine that he was unlicensed to do so.
The ruling by Massachusetts’ highest court could affect other medical marijuana states, where police may no longer be able to search a property without providing evidence the grower is unlicensed for medical marijuana use, first.