Defenses To Marijuana Possession – Findlaw Blotter

on December 29, 2015 10:00 AM Just because some states are decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana for medicinal and recreational use doesn’t necessarily mean you can legally possess pot. And even in states where some marijuana possession is allowed, there are still rules and regulations that buyers and sellers must follow. If you’ve been arrested or charged with marijuana possession, your first thought is necessarily how you will defend yourself. And, lucky for you, you have legal options. Affirmative Defenses An affirmative defense generally concedes the underlying facts of a charge, but asserts there was a valid and non-criminal reason for them. For example, an affirmative defense to marijuana possession may be that you had a medical marijuana prescription or that the marijuana laws in your state permit you to possess the amount and type of marijuana in question. You are essentially saying that you did possess marijuana, but you were legally allowed to do so. Factual Challenges If you didn’t possess the marijuana or if what was seized was not marijuana or your marijuana, you could challenge the facts of the case. This generally entails proving the police got some aspect of the case wrong and you could argue the marijuana belonged to someone else, was never in your possession, or that you didn’t know it was in your possession. Procedural Challenges Police, prosecutors, and the courts all have to follow specified procedures. Beginning with detaining and searching suspects , to arrest, interrogation, and charging, and throughout a criminal trial , a marijuana charge could be challenged on constitutional grounds.

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