Certain illegal drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine, are fully restricted at both state and federal levels. This means that it is illegal to manufacture, cultivate, traffic, distribute, and possess them. Typically, a drug charge conviction carries a severe sentence. Such a sentence generally includes prison time, though plea deals are possible for low-level offenders.
That being said, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on drug laws. For instance, some states have recently enacted medical marijuana laws, which allow medical doctors to recommend marijuana to qualified patients. In spite of this complexity, you cannot afford to be confused by drug laws. Know the facts, and stay within the law. If you cannot make heads or tails of your state’s drug laws, do not hesitate to get legal help.
Drug possession is the most common drug charge in the United States. Federal and state laws make it a crime to possess legally-controlled substances, including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, and heroin. These laws also criminalize the possession of chemicals used to manufacture the drugs as mentioned earlier, and certain accessories.
Possession of an illegal drug varies state to state, but the elements of the law remain the same. Prosecutors must be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant knew of the drug in question and knowingly had possession of it.
Medical marijuana laws are currently at a crossroads. More states are beginning to legalize the use of medical marijuana, making it difficult to govern at a federal level. In general, medical marijuana is no different from your standard-grade marijuana. Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is a “Schedule I Drug,” meaning it is potentially abused, has no accepted medical treatment, and lacks safety regulations from medical supervisors.
As such, the debate as to the legality of marijuana is growing. Some believe the substance offers valuable treatment for a broad range of conditions, including depression, anxiety, and pain relief. The federal government still considers it illegal.
Also published on Medium.