Commonwealth v. Peterson

The school zone statute punishes individuals who commit certain enumerated drug offenses within 300 feet of a school or 100 feet of a public park or playground. Defendant was a passenger in a motor vehicle that was driven on a public roadway past a public park and stopped at a red light. When the light turned green, law enforcement officers stopped the vehicle, at which point the vehicle was no longer within 100 feet of the public park. The officers searched the vehicle and found drugs and a firearm. Defendant was arrested and charged with a number of offenses, including committing a drug offense within one hundred feet of a public park, in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 94C, 32J. Defendant moved to dismiss the park zone charge, arguing that the school zone statute is unconstitutional as applied to him. The judge allowed the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that application of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 94C, 32J to Defendant, under the facts and circumstances of this case, would be overreaching. View "Commonwealth v. Peterson" on Justia Law