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Is Uber being used by people to distribute drugs?

The inspiration for our blog post today comes from an article from the website Motherboard. It details the thorny issue of drug dealing and using ride-sharing services, such as Uber. Uber is valued at $62 billion and is operating in over 200 U.S. cities. There are other competing ride-sharing companies as well. The "Uberization" of the world is well under way, if it hasn't happened already.

But the point here is that with so many independent contractors out on the road functioning as taxis, there are bound to be people who want to use the service for purposes other than catching a ride. Distributing drugs, for example, is a new issue that the ride-sharing companies have to deal with.

There are two factors here that need to be addressed. The first is that drug possession and possession with intent to distribute are two different matters entirely. If someone hails an Uber and merely possesses drugs, that is different than someone who hails an Uber with the intent of taking the drugs in his or her possession and distributing them throughout a local area.

There is also the greater question of Uber's liability in these situations. Do they have a responsibility to contact the police when they suspect one of their drivers is being used as transportation for a drug deal? What about the driver?

Given this new "Uberized" world, it is imperative for people to be aware of the potential legal consequences surrounding using an Uber, especially if they are in possession of drugs.

Source: Motherboard, "How Uber Is Changing Drug Dealing," Brian Anderson, May 26, 2016

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