Possession of a valid prescription is, of course, a defense to the possession of any prescription drug, such as oxycontin or morphine. As well, possession of a valid authorization for medical marijuana, or status as a primary caregiver to someone with such a authorization is a defense to the possession of sufficient marijuana for personal use. Note, however, that you should present the documentation to the officer when the officer questions you about the marijuana. If you are a medical marijuana patient, our office will be happy to assist you in making sure that all your documentation complies with medical marijuana statutes and that you are aware of the proper steps to take if contacted by law enforcement. Possession less than an ounce of cannabis, in Washington State, is no longer a crime.
Further, as discussed above, if you can establish that you were unaware of the presence of the drugs in your home or vehicle because the drugs had been placed there by another person without your knowledge, you may be acquitted of any charges against you, as merely being in the same area as an illegal substance will be insufficient for a possession conviction. Other defenses to drug charges include mistaken identification, alibi, or the brief possession of drugs necessary to bring them to the proper authorities. The methods used by police in obtaining evidence must also be reviewed to determine if officers acted legally and within their powers. Many times, illegal searches, incomplete tips by an unidentified informant, or illegally obtained confessions will result in the exclusion of much, if not all, of the evidence against you a dismissed or greatly reduced charge.