Thursday, March 23, 2006

Consumption of drugs does not include metabolizing

State v. Ireland, 2006 UT 17

Utah’s drug possession statute defines “possession” as “ownership, control, occupancy, holding, retaining, belonging, maintaining, or the application, swallowing, injection, or consumption . . . of controlled substances.” The State charged Jeffery Ireland with unlawful possession or use of meth and marijuana because his blood tested positive for those substances. The State argued that “consumption” included metabolizing the controlled substance. The supreme court disagreed and held that under the doctrine of ejusdem generis, the word consumption was limited to ingesting drugs. It concluded that Utah lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Ireland because there was no evidence that he “possessed” the drugs in Utah.


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