Published on: Friday, June 9, 2023

In a case that could have easily sprung from the wild imagination of law school hypotheticals, the Fifth Circuit holds that hitching a ride across the border in a car with 283 pounds of marijuana, is not, strictly speaking, possessing marijuana. The two men could really have been hitchhikers. Mere presencein the area where the drugs are found is not a crime. Convictions vacated. Dissent: Shut the front door. Two hundred. Eighty-three. Pounds.

The case is United States v. Campos-Ayala, No. 21-50642, (5th Cir. June 7, 2023).