Ask a Weed Lawyer: Should I Snitch on My Dealer?

Don't choke on your cheese, rat.

John Bussman is a criminal defense attorney in Orange County, California. He is an expert on marijuana law, a member of the NORML Legal Committee, and a longtime supporter of drug policy reform.

Q: I was recently busted for possession. Should I snitch on my dealer in exchange for leniency?

In a word, no.

You should never speak to police at all, if possible. That’s your lawyer’s job.

And you should definitely never tell the police anything that could be construed as a confession or potentially used against you.

And you should never snitch in general. Nobody likes a tattle tail—not even the police, if you really want to get down to it.

Here’s a news flash: Cops lie. They may blow smoke up your proverbial ass to convince you to say things that are not necessarily in your best interests. During the interrogation process, cops can make all kinds of promises and threats, even if they have no authority to actually follow through. Believe it or not, these guys aren’t your friends. Their job is to collect evidence and to put people in jail. Regardless of what they tell you, cops are not interested in helping you out.

If you speak to police without your attorney present, you will be manipulated. You will be intimidated, and you will almost certainly talk yourself into trouble. The only thing you should ever say to the police is, “I’m not answering any questions without my attorney present.”

If you’re actually sitting on valuable information, your attorney might use that as leverage in negotiations with the DA later. But if you start giving that info away for free, you’re probably digging your own grave (a figurative grave, if you’re lucky).