It's against the law to carry illegal drugs in your pocket, but not in your bloodstream. Some Kansas lawmakers want to be the first in the nation to change that, the Kansas City Star reports. For three years, lawmakers and law enforcement have pushed to make a positive urine or blood test for drugs equivalent to the crime of drug possession. They say it would give police another tool to arrest and prosecute drug offenders. The proposal had a legislative hearing yesterday. “If someone is caught having ingested or injected they can be charged with possession,” said Rep. Kathe Decker, who advocates the “internal possession” idea. “It just gives more teeth to law enforcement.”
Criminal defense attorneys worry that people who fail drug tests for employment or school athletics could wind up facing criminal drug charges. Convicts on probation often must pass regular drug tests. If the test carries the threat of further criminal charges, it could violate the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, says Sen. Phil Journey, criminal defense attorney. The proposal would “lead to ore prison time and more people being prosecuted, not treated,” said Sal Intagliata of the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.