Possession with intent to distribute illegal narcotics cases filed in New Mexico seem to be on the rise recently. The manner within which the narcotics are possessed, transferred or used has been, and continues to be an interesting topic that repeatedly comes up.
Defining what "possession" of illegal narcotics means is a slippery slope. I have seen prosecutors seek prosecution of cases when drugs are in a car, in the target's pocket, in a house, and even at their place of employment. Clearly, a strong case can be made that someone possesses something that is in their pocket, but what about their house or car? I remember a client telling me about finding some pot near their family computer. His son was experimenting with illegal drugs. Did he possess the pot? If police saw the drugs in his house, should he be prosecuted? What about the family car? Should each family member have to individually respond to possession charges?
Intent to Distribute
For whatever reason, it is widely assumed by law enforcement personnel that if a person has a lot of drugs, he/she is intending to sell it, and therefore, should be charged with possession with intent to distribute. Drug users often pal around with other drug users, and thus need more drugs for their buds. They often "save for a rainy day" too. There are other explanations for possession of lots of drugs short of someone having a clear-cut intent to distribute them. Like fear of losing their supplier.
Illegal narcotics are bad. There is nothing good that comes from them. They are addictive, bad for your health, expensive, dangerous, often times flammable, and even being associated with them in any way is a social no-no.
The worst drug out there is marijuana. It eliminates anxiety without having to take any action to eliminate anxiety. Then, when not high, the anxiety comes back as the user realizes that the tasks needing to be completed have not been taken care of. The solution: more pot. The cycle is repeated for months, years, and perhaps a lifetime until, the user realizes (if ever) that they've lost valuable time off of their lives without reaping any benefit. It's also a gateway drug. After using it enough, the user becomes more willing to experiment with other, more harmful drugs like heroin and meth. I have, however, known of a small handful of very productive pot users. Evidently, some can use and don't get stuck spinning their wheels their entire lives. There is a need for more involvement in the lives of our youth to steer them away from the peer pressure and other ills that get them started down that path in the first place. I've also noticed a trend or pattern where users sometimes become sellers. Either way, everyone deserves a second chance.