A Baltimore lawyer says his client lost his job after spending a month in jail on marijuana charges, even though Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby changed her policy to no longer prosecute possession cases.
Dwight Chinyee is a free man. He was charged Feb. 5 with importing marijuana and possession with intent to distribute.
Police say the North Carolina man had 17 pounds of marijuana when he was pulled over for speeding. Chinyee was arrested and held without bail for 30 days.
“If you’re going to come on out and tell the people, ‘Hey, I’m not going to prosecute people, no matter how much you have on you,’ then why are you making them sit in jail?” said attorney Tony Garcia.
Her office will prosecute distribution of marijuana as long as there is evidence of intent to distribute.
According to the statement of probable cause, Chinyee had 17 large, clear, heat-sealed bags of marijuana in the trunk of his car.
Maryland Transportation Authority police say the marijuana weighed 17 pounds and was packed in a manner that’s consistent with possession with intent to distribute.
“You can buy 48 bottles of water, you can buy other products in bulk. It just means you take it home and you use it over time,” said Garcia.
In a statement issued after the charges were dropped, a spokeswoman for the State’s Attorney’s Office wrote: “There were several factors that we initially considered that were supportive of the distribution charges in this case. However, after further review and investigation, our prosecutors determined that the facts did not extend beyond mere possession.”