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Changes to Transporation Laws - Making Them Fairer

Changes to Transporation Laws - Making Them Fairer

 

There are four main statutes regulating the transportation of controlled substances, Health and Safety Code Sections 11352 (cocaine), 11360 (marijuana), 11379 (methamphetamines) and 11379.5 (PCP). The penalties for these offenses are significantly higher than for simple possession or even drug sales. For years, transportation was defined as simply knowingly possessing a controlled substance while in a vehicle.  When a prosecutor was unable to prove that an individual was selling a controlled substance, they could nonetheless be punished more harshly if the substance happened to be possessed in a vehicle. Given our car oriented culture, this literally turned ever simple possession into a prison drug charge. These statutes had nothing to do with driving under the influence of these drugs. A totally sober person became a drug transporter simply by deciding to drive to the gas station.

This year, the legislature fixed this anomaly by prescribing under Health and Safety Code Sections 11352 (cocaine) and 11379 (methamphetamine) that the transportation had to be for the purpose of sale. In other words, merely deciding to get into a vehicle while in possession of a bag of dope no longer makes one a drug transporter.

For some unknown reason, the legislature failed to make similar changes to transportation of marijuana (Health and Safety Code Section 11360) and PCP (Health and Safety Code Section 11379.5). Nonetheless, it is anticipated that these changes will be made in the near future and most district attorneys are already applying this new definition to all categories of drugs. 

 

If you or someone you know is facing drug charges Redwood City, Palo Alto, San Jose, Oakland or the surrounding area, call or e-mail The Law Offices of Ross Green for a free consultation. 

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