Imagine picking up your grandmother’s prescription drugs at a local pharmacy and driving to her home to deliver them—and getting arrested for illegally possessing prescription drugs. A southwest Missouri case has triggered an effort that that could change the legal definition of “immediate family.”
Lamar Senator Ed Emery tells of the daughter of one of his constituents who left some prescription drugs at mom’s house. The mother picked up the bottle and put it in her purse. Later, she was pulled over for having an expired license plate. A legal search of her car turned up the prescription bottle. Mom was charged with a felony. A judge dismissed the charge. A prosecutor refiled it. Emery tells a Senate committee, “It continues to be continued and every time is it continued there’s additional legal fees….So she’s now several thousand dollars in the hole because of this.”
Emery says present law allows someone to possess prescription drugs for his or her own use or for the use of a hosuehold member. He proposes changing the law so it includes a member of the immediate family, regardless of whether that person lives in the same house.
A couple of fellow Senators on the committee say they have been lucky that they haven’t been stopped while delivering prescription drugs to a grandmother or to a mother-in-law who live at different addresses than theirs. But they also worry the change might affect cases of children taking parents’ prescription drugs to school and selling them or how the change might affect widespread trafficking in prescription medications.
Emery says he’ll work with others to find the right wording.