46 USC 70503 - Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession of Controlled Substances on Vessels

(a) Prohibitions.—An individual may not knowingly or intentionally manufacture or distribute, or possess with intent to manufacture or distribute, a controlled substance on board—

(1) a vessel of the United States or a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; or

(2) any vessel if the individual is a citizen of the United States or a resident alien of the United States.

(b) Extension Beyond Territorial Jurisdiction.—Subsection (a) applies even though the act is committed outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

(c) Nonapplication.—

(1) In general.—Subject to paragraph (2), subsection (a) does not apply to—

(A) a common or contract carrier or an employee of the carrier who possesses or distributes a controlled substance in the lawful and usual course of the carrier's business; or

(B) a public vessel of the United States or an individual on board the vessel who possesses or distributes a controlled substance in the lawful course of the individual's duties.

(2) Entered in manifest.—Paragraph (1) applies only if the controlled substance is part of the cargo entered in the vessel's manifest and is intended to be imported lawfully into the country of destination for scientific, medical, or other lawful purposes.

(d) Burden of Proof.—The United States Government is not required to negative a defense provided by subsection (c) in a complaint, information, indictment, or other pleading or in a trial or other proceeding. The burden of going forward with the evidence supporting the defense is on the person claiming its benefit.

(Pub. L. 109–304, §10(2), Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1687.)

Historical and Revision Notes


Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
70503(a) 46 App.:1903(a). Pub. L. 96–350, §3(a), (e), (h), Sept. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 1160; Pub. L. 99–570, title III, §3202, Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207–95, 3207–96, 3207–97; Pub. L. 99–640, §17, Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3552, 3554; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7402(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4483.
70503(b) 46 App.:1903(h).
70503(c) 46 App.:1903(e) (1st sentence).
70503(d) 46 App.:1903(e) (last sentence).

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Last modified: October 26, 2015