Maryland drug charges case must be dismissed after brilliant legal argument by Ms. Bordner.
Client was charged with possession of heroin and fentanyl and possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia after an anonymous caller phoned the police for a welfare check of the client and another passenger slumped over in a vehicle. The police arrived at the scene and conducted the welfare check. During the welfare check, the police found heroin, fentanyl and drug paraphernalia throughout the vehicle and criminally charged the two occupants. Ms. Bordner, through her thorough knowledge of the law and this case, was able to get all of the charges dismissed by bringing to the court’s attention that the Maryland Good Samaritan Law should be applied to this case. Section 1-210 of the Criminal Procedure Article provides immunity to a person who seeks, assists, or provides medical assistance due to the ingestion of drugs or alcohol. It also applies to the person (defendant) who receives assistance because a concerned citizen requested assistance for them. See Noble v. State, 238 Md. App. 153, 172 (2018).
Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure § 1-210
The following words and phrases, as used in this article, shall have the following meanings, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) “Administer” means the direct application of a controlled substance, whether by injection, inhalation, ingestion or any other means, to the body of a patient or research subject by:
(1) A practitioner (or, in his presence, by his authorized agent); or
(2) The patient or research subject at the direction and in the presence of the practitioner.
(b) “Agent” means an authorized person who acts on behalf of or at the direction of a manufacturer, distributor or dispenser. Such word does not include a common or contract carrier, public warehouseman or employee of the carrier or warehouseman. This definition shall not be applied to the term “agent” when such term clearly designates a member or officer of the Bureau of Narcotics or other law enforcement organization.
(c) “Board” means the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure.
(d) “Bureau” means the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. However, where the title “Bureau of Drug Enforcement” occurs, that term shall also refer to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
(e) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.
(f) “Controlled substance” means a drug, substance or immediate precursor in Schedules I through V of Sections 41-29-113 through 41-29-121.
(g) “Counterfeit substance” means a controlled substance which, or the container or labeling of which, without authorization, bears the trademark, trade name, or other identifying mark, imprint, number or device, or any likeness thereof, of a manufacturer, distributor or dispenser other than the person who in fact manufactured, distributed or dispensed the substance.
(h) “Deliver” or “delivery” means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another of a controlled substance, whether or not there is an agency relationship.
(i) “Director” means the Director of the Bureau of Narcotics.
(j) “Dispense” means to deliver a controlled substance to an ultimate user or research subject by or pursuant to the lawful order of a practitioner, including the prescribing, administering, packaging, labeling or compounding necessary to prepare the substance for that delivery.
(k) “Dispenser” means a practitioner who dispenses.
(l) “Distribute” means to deliver other than by administering or dispensing a controlled substance.
(m) “Distributor” means a person who distributes.
(n) “Drug” means (1) a substance recognized as a drug in the official United States Pharmacopoeia, official Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, or official National Formulary, or any supplement to any of them; (2) a substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or animals; (3) a substance (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or animals; and (4) a substance intended for use as a component of any article specified in this paragraph. Such word does not include devices or their components, parts, or accessories.
(o) “Hashish” means the resin extracted from any part of the plants of the genus Cannabis and all species thereof or any preparation, mixture or derivative made from or with that resin.
(p) “Immediate precursor” means a substance which the board has found to be and by rule designates as being the principal compound commonly used or produced primarily for use, and which is an immediate chemical intermediary used or likely to be used in the manufacture of a controlled substance, the control of which is necessary to prevent, curtail, or limit manufacture.
(q) “Manufacture” means the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion or processing of a controlled substance, either directly or indirectly, by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, and includes any packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container. The term “manufacture” does not include the preparation, compounding, packaging or labeling of a controlled substance in conformity with applicable state and local law:
(1) By a practitioner as an incident to his administering or dispensing of a controlled substance in the course of his professional practice; or
(2) By a practitioner, or by his authorized agent under his supervision, for the purpose of, or as an incident to, research, teaching or chemical analysis and not for sale.
(r) “Marihuana” means all parts of the plant of the genus Cannabis and all species thereof, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the plant or its seeds, excluding hashish.
(s) “Narcotic drug” means any of the following, whether produced directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of vegetable origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis:
(1) Opium and opiate, and any salt, compound, derivative or preparation of opium or opiate;
(2) Any salt, compound, isomer, derivative or preparation thereof which is chemically equivalent or identical with any of the substances referred to in clause (1), but not including the isoquinoline alkaloids of opium;
(3) Opium poppy and poppy straw; and
(4) Cocaine, coca leaves and any salt, compound, derivative or preparation of cocaine, coca leaves, and any salt, compound, isomer, derivative or preparation thereof which is chemically equivalent or identical with any of these substances, but not including decocainized coca leaves or extractions of coca leaves which do not contain cocaine or ecgonine.
(t) “Opiate” means any substance having an addiction-forming or addiction-sustaining liability similar to morphine or being capable of conversion into a drug having addiction-forming or addiction-sustaining liability. It does not include, unless specifically designated as controlled under Section 41-29-111, the dextrorotatory isomer of 3-methoxy-n-methylmorphinan and its salts (dextromethorphan). Such word does include its racemic and levorotatory forms.
(u) “Opium poppy” means the plant of the species Papaver somniferum L., except its seeds.
(v) “Paraphernalia” means all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use, in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law. It includes, but is not limited to:
(i) Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing or harvesting of any species of plant which is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance can be derived;
(ii) Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing or preparing controlled substances;
(iii) Isomerization devices used, intended for use or designed for use in increasing the potency of any species of plant which is a controlled substance;
(iv) Testing equipment used, intended for use, or designed for use in identifying or in analyzing the strength, effectiveness or purity of controlled substances;
(v) Scales and balances used, intended for use or designed for use in weighing or measuring controlled substances;
(vi) Diluents and adulterants, such as quinine hydrochloride, mannitol, mannite, dextrose and lactose, used, intended for use or designed for use in cutting controlled substances;
(vii) Separation gins and sifters used, intended for use or designed for use in removing twigs and seeds from, or in otherwise cleaning or refining, marihuana;
(viii) Blenders, bowls, containers, spoons and mixing devices used, intended for use or designed for use in compounding controlled substances;
(ix) Capsules, balloons, envelopes and other containers used, intended for use or designed for use in packaging small quantities of controlled substances;
(x) Containers and other objects used, intended for use or designed for use in storing or concealing controlled substances;
(xi) Hypodermic syringes, needles and other objects used, intended for use or designed for use in parenterally injecting controlled substances into the human body;
(xii) Objects used, intended for use or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing marihuana, cocaine, hashish or hashish oil into the human body, such as:
1. Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads or punctured metal bowls;
2. Water pipes;
3. Carburetion tubes and devices;
4. Smoking and carburetion masks;
5. Roach clips, meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a marihuana cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand;
6. Miniature cocaine spoons and cocaine vials;
7. Chamber pipes;
8. Carburetor pipes;
9. Electric pipes;
10. Air-driven pipes;
12. Bongs; and
13. Ice pipes or chillers.
In determining whether an object is paraphernalia, a court or other authority should consider, in addition to all other logically relevant factors, the following:
(i) Statements by an owner or by anyone in control of the object concerning its use;
(ii) Prior convictions, if any, of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, under any state or federal law relating to any controlled substance;
(iii) The proximity of the object, in time and space, to a direct violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law;
(iv) The proximity of the object to controlled substances;
(v) The existence of any residue of controlled substances on the object;
(vi) Direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, to deliver it to persons whom he knows, or should reasonably know, intend to use the object to facilitate a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law; the innocence of an owner, or of anyone in control of the object, as to a direct violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law shall not prevent a finding that the object is intended for use, or designed for use as paraphernalia;
(vii) Instructions, oral or written, provided with the object concerning its use;
(viii) Descriptive materials accompanying the object which explain or depict its use;
(ix) National and local advertising concerning its use;
(x) The manner in which the object is displayed for sale;
(xi) Whether the owner or anyone in control of the object is a legitimate supplier of like or related items to the community, such as a licensed distributor or dealer of tobacco products;
(xii) Direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the object(s) to the total sales of the business enterprise;
(xiii) The existence and scope of legitimate uses for the object in the community;
(xiv) Expert testimony concerning its use.
(w) “Person” means individual, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, or any other legal entity.
(x) “Poppy straw” means all parts, except the seeds, of the opium poppy, after mowing.
(y) “Practitioner” means:
(1) A physician, dentist, veterinarian, scientific investigator, optometrist certified to prescribe and use therapeutic pharmaceutical agents under Sections 73-19-153 through 73-19-165, or other person licensed, registered or otherwise permitted to distribute, dispense, conduct research with respect to or to administer a controlled substance in the course of professional practice or research in this state; and
(2) A pharmacy, hospital or other institution licensed, registered, or otherwise permitted to distribute, dispense, conduct research with respect to or to administer a controlled substance in the course of professional practice or research in this state.
(z) “Production” includes the manufacture, planting, cultivation, growing or harvesting of a controlled substance.
(aa) “Sale,” “sell” or “selling” means the actual, constructive or attempted transfer or delivery of a controlled substance for remuneration, whether in money or other consideration.
(bb) “State,” when applied to a part of the United States, includes any state, district, commonwealth, territory, insular possession thereof, and any area subject to the legal authority of the United States of America.
(cc) “Ultimate user” means a person who lawfully possesses a controlled substance for his own use or for the use of a member of his household or for administering to an animal owned by him or by a member of his household.