America has been fighting a “war on drugs” for the last 30 years, with varying results. In the 1980s, the drug of choice was cocaine, in the 1990s it was amphetamines, in the 2000s it was meth and heroin, and now we have heroin and opioids (painkillers).
While the “war on drugs” seems to have different enemies every 10 years or so, the drug crimes continue almost unabated. Sure, over the last 30 years, federal and local law-enforcement entities have dramatically increased their efforts to prosecute drug crimes, so you see an increase in the numbers of people in jail for drug-related crimes.
But what are the most common drug-related crimes? Here is a quick recap.
There are many drugs that are illegal to possess without a medical prescription and those which are illegal in their own right no matter what (cocaine and meth are two of them). The “war on drugs” has assigned illegality to people just being in possession of these drugs, without regard to whether a person is using the drug, has used them, or had any intent to sell or otherwise distribute them to others.
So you could be telling the truth when you say you haven’t used the drugs and “they’re not mine,” but that doesn’t matter. There is no taking your word for it when it comes to the drug war.
Who would think that a lighter, a spoon a razor blade would be illegal ot possess? When these items are in the context of a drug bust, a person may be incarcerated for having and using drug paraphernalia – such as rolling paper, bongs, spoons, lighters or razor blades (for meth or cocaine). Similar to possession, these crimes are not based on whether there is active use of the paraphernalia, but only in the possession of it with the presumption that they have been or will be used.
This is where the rubber meets the road in the drug war. Perhaps the actual dangerous drug-related crime is the dual threat of trafficking and dealing drugs. Trafficking involves the import of illegal drugs into the country or a state without permission, with the intent to distribute and/or sell it. This can also include the manufacture of the drugs, such as a large pot farm that is clearly too big to be for personal use.
Dealing is also a serious public-safety issue, and it involves the unlicensed sale of illegal drugs for profit. Any seller that is unlicensed does not have public-health or safety regulations imposed upon it, which means the drugs may be sold in whatever quantity the dealer wishes, and that could be enough to possibly result in an overdose by the user.
Possession is 9/10 of the Law?
Being in possession of drugs, cash and/or paraphernalia can embroil you in some legal trouble. But don’t give in and don’t give up; you still have the right to due process and a presumption of innocence. Contact our attorneys for a consultation about your case and learn how we can help you fight for your rights even in a hyperactive enforcement culture.