According to a Fox News report, eight people have been arrested today in South Carolina in connection with the Michael Phelps bong photo. It is being reported that seven of the people are being charged with possession of marijuana and one for dealing. One of the arrests includes a suspect who was trying to sell the infamous bong on Ebay for $1000,000.00.
Apparently, the marijuana was smoked at a University of South Carolina party in November of last year. Putting aside my personal feelings on whether this is a prudent use of our law enforcement resources, from a legal standpoint, this case is a disaster that can never survive in court.
As a criminal lawyer that has been involved in the prosecution of over 3000 drug cases, I have yet to see a charge, let alone a conviction, on possession of a controlled dangerous substance based upon a photograph of someone allegedly ingesting a controlled substance.
The way it always works is the police seize a drug, the drug is tested by a crime lab, the analysis is submitted in court as evidence. No chance of a conviction here, period, based upon the information reported.