SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 15, 2014

Police: Pot in purse lands Peabody woman in trouble

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — Police say a Peabody woman was peddling pot out of her purse and keeping a record of the transactions in a pink notebook with the word “weed” written on the front.

Kayla Provencher, 23, of 15 MacArthur Court, was a passenger in a car stopped by Salem police at the intersection of Valley Street and Cherry Hill Avenue Monday evening. Sgt. William Jennings recognized the odor of marijuana smoke, and the driver confessed that she and her passengers, all young women, had just shared a “blunt” (a hollowed-out cigar filled with pot), according to the police report. She handed the officer the remains of what she had smoked.

But Jennings also smelled fresh marijuana.

Provencher, a passenger, was carrying an open-top, tote-style purse, and visible inside, police wrote, was a Mason jar filled with clear plastic bags of what police believe to be marijuana. Also in the bag was a cookie tin with more marijuana, a small digital scale, empty plastic bags and the pink notebook, Lt. Conrad Prosniewski, the department’s police prosecutor, told a Salem District Court judge. “Weed” is a slang term for marijuana.

Police also found two more bags of marijuana in her jacket pocket during booking.

Prosniewski said police found a “considerable amount of marijuana.”

While Massachusetts has made possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a civil infraction, similar to a speeding ticket, it is still a criminal offense to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute the drug.

Lawyer Heather Ramsey argued for Provencher’s release, saying she has an associate degree from North Shore Community College and works as a waitress and in a “doggie day-care” facility.

Judge Matthew Machera set bail at $750, which Provencher’s boyfriend indicated he would be able to post yesterday.

She is due back in court Feb. 19.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.