Berea, KY asked in Criminal Law, Education Law and Juvenile Law for Kentucky

Q: Is possession of marijuana illegal on school grounds even if the person claims that they weren't aware of the marijuana?

For a mock trial in high school class, we represent the teacher who searched the bag and several other random student's bags. We believe there was reasonable cause.

1 Lawyer Answer
Brendan Joseph McLeod
Brendan Joseph McLeod
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Prospect, KY
  • Licensed in Kentucky

A: There is no criminal offense that is strict liability in Kentucky. You have to have known marijuana was on you and in school. I don't think it is enough to say, "yea, its mine. But, I swear I left it at home with my bong and album cover I use to de-stem my stash."

Being absent minded would be a "reckless" mens rea and the marijuana is yours. Stick with I have no idea and it wasn't mine. I mean, why would I keep stinky marijuana in my own backpack (other than I wanted to bring it to school to show people and smoke afterwards)?

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