Updated: Aug 20
Could body cams on cannabis delivery personnel be an invasion of privacy?
Is privacy a major concern for you? Then if you live in Massachusetts, you may be interested to learn that the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has drafted a raft of new proposed regulations for cannabis delivery.
One proposed change, in particular, is raising concerns with cannabis customers across the state.The draft regulation change was unveiled in July and would require all delivery drivers to wear a body camera when they leave their delivery vehicle in order to record all transactions. These transaction videos will require to be stored for 90 days, as to be made available if either the CCC or law enforcement request them.
The new changes are being pushed by law enforcement agencies who believe that delivery drivers could be the target of crime. Walpole Police Chief, John Carmichael, believes that the new changes are an added layer of protection for cannabis businesses.
“Unfortunately, there is crime, violent crime, that’s been committed here in Massachusetts in the illicit side of the market. People have been killed. There is no reason for us to believe that won’t extend … into the legal market.”
However, the new changes which have been proposed aren’t going over well with everyone involved in the cannabis industry.
Matt Allen of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) disagrees, believing that legal cannabis delivery workers will be less likely to be the victims of theft or violence compared to illegal delivery workers. “The whole benefit of legalizing marijuana is to bring these activities out of the shadows. Because this is now legal and regulated, they are less likely to be targets of crime, just by the very fact that they can report it to the police.”
While the legalization of cannabis was expected to cripple the illegal black market, this hasn’t been the case with all states.
Serious Privacy Concerns for Consumers
Ranked immediately behind violence and theft, privacy is the next most pressing issue for cannabis consumers. Due to the fact that marijuana is still illegal at a federal level, many consumers are concerned about the recording of someone or records of deliveries, which could then be used against them by the federal government.
“It seems, frankly, irresponsible for the state to approve of a system that would allow federal agencies such as ICE, for instance, to be able to access body camera footage, to expose consumers of Massachusetts to federal prosecution,” says Matt Allen.
While many people believe that the cameras add a layer of protection, most people also believe that the chance of violent crime against delivery personnel is remote.
The new regulations would also place a large financial burden on cannabis companies which are only just getting started. Along with body cameras for delivery, delivery vehicles would need to have a minimum of two personnel at all times; as well as being fit with GPS tracking systems, video equipment, transmission, and digital storage equipment.
The financial burden of these proposed regulations will ultimately be passed on to consumers who in most cases, don’t support the proposed regulations.