Maryland Drug Possession Laws

What Constitutes Possession? When Does Possession Involve an Intent to Sell?

What Constitutes Possession? When Does Possession Involve an Intent to Sell?In recent weeks, there has been much controversy in Baltimore, as the city’s State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, has dismissed approximately half of the narcotics cases brought to her, stating that she will no longer prosecute drug possession cases. The decision is a carryover from 2020, when the city sought to minimize the spread of the coronavirus in jails. Mosby stressed, however, that only cases of simple possession would be dismissed—a person who meets the criteria for possession with intent to distribute will still be prosecuted.

What Is Possession?

Under Maryland law, a person may be charged with possession for either having under his control, administering or attempting to obtain a controlled substance, unless the person has a prescription or order from an authorized provider. Furthermore, a person may still be charged with possession, even with a prescription/order, if there was:

  • Fraud, deception, misrepresentation or subterfuge’
  • Concealment of a material fact
  • Forgery or counterfeiting involving a prescription/written order
  • Use of a false name or identity

When Does Possession Rise to “Intent to Distribute”?

The distinction between possession and possession with intent to distribute is based on the quantity of the controlled substance. The quantity varies based on the specific controlled substance.

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Ellicott City, Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney

Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.


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