In a move that could further weaken the state’s marijuana regulations, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has made it tougher for investigators to sniff out possible pot crimes.

The SJC ruled Wednesday that the odor of marijuana wafting from a car is no longer sufficient reason for police to order people from their vehicles, citing the commonwealth’s partial decriminalization of pot as the linchpin of its argument.

“Without at least some other additional fact to bolster a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order,” the court ruled in a decision written by Chief Justice Roderick Ireland

“It is unreasonable for the police to spend time conducting warrantless searches for contraband when no specific facts suggest criminality,” he said.

READ MORE: SJC weakens pot enforcement
The Republican, April 20, 2011