View Full Version : If you pass a joint to someone, can you be arrested for distribution?

04-29-2006, 06:15 AM
Inspired by my comments in this Thread. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=7345724#post7345724)

If police have video (or they just witness it) of you and some friends standing around at a party passing a joint, could they bust you (everyone?) for possession AND distribution? I mean, giving someone drugs is giving someone drugs.

I know that authorities in the past have used other tricks to increase the offenses they can mete out. Main examples I can think of are when police have weighed pot plants they have found growing in homes, they tend to not shake the roots out or trim the leaves and flowers. Thus a pot plant that might have a couple ounces of usable substance weighs in at a couple of pounds due to the stems, dirt, rocks, etc. This is why I am always suspicious of the weights reported during drugs busts.


04-29-2006, 08:42 AM
Senator Sensenbrenner's "Defending America's Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2005" (H.R. 1528) (http://www.talkleft.com/new_archives/010374.html), which would mandate a five year sentence for passing a joint to someone who's been in drug treatment, appears to be stalled in committee (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-1528).

04-29-2006, 09:12 AM
In this case http://www.jag.navy.mil/NMCCA/200500701.unpub.doc (word .doc format) (Google converted html) the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals found a guilty plea proper where the defendant had smoked a joint and then passed it. The court found that he could be guilty of use and distribution under those circumstances.

It distinguished the common ownership scenario where the parties had "acquired joint possession." ;) (similar result).

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