It Means What It Needs to Mean: Combating Drug Jargon Testimony

“Drug jargon” is the term used by law enforcement officers when they tell a jury the meaning of certain words and phrases in cases alleging drug-dealing. For example, the word “snow” in context can mean cocaine. Courts permit drug jargon testimony as expert testimony under Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence or as lay opinion testimony under Rule 701. This article will help the defense to develop effective objections as to why drug jargon testimony is not admissible as expert or lay opinion testimony.