Simple possession of drugs applies to minor incidents when a person is caught with only a negligible quantity of a controlled substance. This can include the drugs you have on your person as well as the drugs in your house or car. The definition of “negligible” with drug possession in Maryland depends on the substance type since different drug types vary widely in much a single user typically consumes.
What makes it small possession?
If the amount is small enough relative to the kind of substance, the officer can make the assumption that the drugs were only for the individual’s personal use. When someone is caught with a more significant amount of controlled substances, the police are more likely to believe that the person was distributing or selling the drug.
Be aware, though, that you don’t always have to be in literal possession of drugs to be charged. What matters in the eyes of the law is that you’re the person who is in control of the substance.
A common example of this situation would be a storage unit or locker where someone is keeping illegal drugs. While they weren’t storing the drugs on their physical property, they can still be charged if they are in possession of the key.
The trafficking of illegal drugs
Drug trafficking is usually when someone sells or distributes drugs, known as a drug dealer. But drug trafficking also encompasses those who grow and manufacture the drugs. This might include growing marijuana plants or producing methamphetamine.
Possession laws can also get you in trouble for having drug-related items, called paraphernalia. This includes items used to consume the drugs such as crack pipes, water bongs and hypodermic needles. These laws also prohibit certain items used by drug manufacturers when they’re cultivating and producing the substances.