Category: Drug Charges

Is Medical Marijuana for Pets Legal?

First, I should say that medical marijuana for pets is not legal in any state and vets do not prescribe it… But, should they? The medicinal benefits of marijuana for humans is clear, at least for some conditions such as glaucoma or seizures. Does it also work for pets? Dr. Robert Silver in Boulder, Colorado [..]

Read More

Atlanta Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

Slowly, one state or even one municipality at a time, the United States is legalizing marijuana. Many states have legalized weed for medicinal purposes only, requiring a “recommendation” from a doctor (it is still illegal to prescribe marijuana under federal law). Other states or municipalities have decriminalized marijuana which means you cannot go to jail [..]

Read More

Errors in South Carolina Crime Labs

An audit of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s (SLED) crime has revealed flawed examinations of gunshot residue samples over a period of a year and a half. The errors were found in 34 shooting cases in 13 different judicial districts and include samples tested in police officer Michael Slager’s North Charleston murder of unarmed [..]

Read More

The Limits of Religious Freedom

A heroin dealer’s claim that his charges for distributing heroin to consenting adults violated his religious freedom was denied by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals week before last. The defendant was sentenced to 27 years in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri. Before his trial in St. Louis in 2015, Anderson demanded that the [..]

Read More

Horry County Drug Court

The 15th Circuit Drug Court program has been up and running for eight years now. Results? I have seen participants who came out of the program clean and sober. The opportunity to participate in the program has literally saved lives and kept families together. I have also seen participants who could not stay clean, flunked [..]

Read More

The Largest Mass Dismissal of Cases in the History of the United States

Before she crashed and burned, Annie Dookhan was a superhero at the Massachusetts state crime lab. She processed and tested drug samples three times as fast as her colleagues and assisted in obtaining convictions in thousands of cases involving an estimated 40,000 drug samples. An audit performed in 2010 found that she was working unusually [..]

Read More

Curtilage Revisited – Trafficking Weight Cocaine Suppressed

Last December, I wrote about State v. Bash, where the S.C. Supreme Court thankfully re-affirmed that a police officer cannot enter a person’s yard without a warrant or exigent circumstances in order to search for drugs.  The defendant was charged with trafficking in cocaine > 400 grams and trafficking in crack cocaine 10-28 grams.  The [..]

Read More

No Right to Counsel in South Carolina Summary Courts

Of course there is a right to counsel, at least when a person is sentenced to jail time, but it is systematically denied to defendants in our state’s summary courts. Indigent defendants in S.C.’s summary courts typically are not provided with court-appointed counsel, even in serious cases such as DUI or domestic violence (CDV).  In [..]

Read More

When is a Search Warrant Valid?

The short answer is: usually, but you never know until you investigate and challenge it.  In State v. Thompson, the S.C. Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and the trial court, finding that extensive documentation of the defendant’s drug dealings and connection to a particular residence does not constitute probable cause to issue a [..]

Read More