WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The new marijuana law went into effect Thursday, but some police departments admit the law enforcement aspect of the details are confusing.
“They didn’t really look into what was going to happen with this marijuana law. It doesn’t work,” said Betty Bergeron of Southampton.
Pot is legal in Massachusetts, but only for certain ages, in certain quantities, in certain places. For law enforcement, it’s those details that matter.
We took our cameras to the Westfield Police Department for a candid interview with Captain Michael McCabe. We obtained a copy of law enforcement’s eight page guideline of the new marijuana law which sites multiple general laws with various chapters and numerous subsections.
“If somebody calls you up on the phone and say hey what about this? It really is a matter of going back into the record and delving into the law,” said Captain McCabe.
For example, it’s illegal to drive with an open container of alcohol, but what about pot?
“If it’s not sealed, then it’s illegal. No go ahead and define sealed,” said McCabe.
When you are suspected of driving drunk the police can test your blood alcohol level. They told 22News this technology doesn’t exist if you are driving high.
“A lot of people are going to say they are using it medically, but then they are going to overuse it so I definitely think there should be a test,” said Westfield resident Jennifer Winn.
“In fact there is really no way to discern if someone has been driving high other than a certified drug recognition expert,” said Westfield Police Captain Michael McCabe.
Many local departments don’t have those officers, and calling one in from the state police takes time.
Attorney Genera Maura Healey sent a letter to police chiefs warning them about more future changes to the law and advising them to call her office for guidance.
Captain McCabe also told 22News today’s pot is a much stronger drug at about 20-30% THC.