A lot of incarceration within the US is argued to be based around drug crimes. This is not only due to the nature of drugs and controlled substances in attracting ‘gray’ attention, it also has to do with the manufacture of illicit drugs within the United States of America.
Regionally as well as globally, the United States of America has been a stalwart in leading the charge against drugs and drug related crimes. And hence drug laws at the federal scale are much more stringent and holistic as compared to state-level laws and regulations around drugs.
The penalties regarding drug crimes are based on several factors. This includes the Schedules which involve the drug in question. Different levels of severity accompany penalties with respect to Schedules, and for narcotics, penalties are variant in accordance with the five different schedules established in the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act.
Understanding the Legality of Drugs
It often depends on the usage of the drug in question, and this stretches far beyond the intended usage of a specified drug. For instance, amphetamines and barbiturates have a lot of beneficial uses for treating a variety of medical conditions; including attention deficit disorders and anxiety. Marijuana is also proven to help stem cancer cell growth and lessen cancer-related nausea. The benefits of these drugs aside, many people turn to these products and drugs for other, grayer purposes. Unsupervised and unregulated use of drugs or related products always proposes a dilemma that could even be life-threatening – and indeed is in the cases of deaths resulting from recreational usages of drugs like amphetamines and opioids.
Local, State and Federal Laws around Drugs
Each state within the US system has its own set of drug laws. This is especially evident in the case of marijuana where states are increasingly showing a willingness to legalize its public use. At the federal level, there is a longstanding understanding to place a strategy towards combatting potential abuse and distribution of controlled substances. It is clearly understood within this scope that federal sentences carry a heavier legal and financial implication than state or local level laws.
Understanding Drug Related Offenses
When a state legislature or federal government classifies a certain substance into the category of ‘controlled substances’, it generally implies the governance by the law of the use and distribution of the substance or product in question. Different drugs are placed in different schedules, for instance, Marijuana is placed in Schedule I while Cocaine is listed under Schedule II.
Distribution and Trafficking present itself to be one of the main endeavors in illicit activities concerning drugs. This includes illegal selling, delivering or aiding such processes when it comes to controlled substances. This charge is usually activated when someone tries to sell drugs to an undercover cop. The consequences of a conviction in this arena can vary significantly, depending mainly upon the type of substance and the location details.
Possession is the most common drug related charge and is widely applicable especially under local drug laws. For this conviction to be charged, the government must substantively prove that the accused party knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled substance without any valid prescription and with an intent to use it personally or put it up for sale.
Manufacturing, under federal and state drug laws the government is empowered to charge individuals for aiding and abetting the cultivation or production of a controlled substance being produced illegally or for purposes other than their intended use. Manufacturing not only entails the making of illicit substances such as LSD, but also extend to the separate ingredients used in this production
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