- Drug Trafficking And Dealing
It is illegal to sell, trade, or exchange scheduled drugs under drug dealing or “trafficking” laws. Some states distinguish between profitably selling drugs and providing or sharing drugs. Drug trafficking is typically charged as a felony, and it becomes more serious when a large quantity of drugs is involved or when the drugs result in death. In addition, increasing federal penalties is possible if drug dealers or traffickers use firearms while selling drugs.
Even minor drug dealing, such as one person selling a small portion of scheduled drugs, can result in felony charges. While the penalties for drug possession with intent to distribute may be less severe than those for selling more significant amounts, they may result in probation or even prison time. For example, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), even selling 100 grams of heroin can result in a five-year prison sentence.
An additional category of drug crime is drug manufacturing, which can refer to any stage of making an illegal substance. The cultivation of marijuana, which may or may not be entirely legal under the state’s laws, is the most common form of this unlawful activity. Although the federal government has, for the most part, refrained from prosecuting marijuana cultivation or manufacturing cannabis products because of exceptions in state law for medical and personal use, state regulation of the cannabis industry is usually quite complicated.
The production of methamphetamines (commonly known as a “meth lab”) is another type of drug manufacturing that frequently results in criminal prosecution. This is a hazardous, illegal activity due to potentially lethal chemicals in the manufacturing process and the possibility of an explosion. Those who are involved in the operation of a drug manufacturing operation typically face lengthy prison terms if they are convicted.
- Caught Possessing Drug Paraphernalia
In a broad sense, “drug paraphernalia” refers to any apparatus used to prepare, inject, inhale, or conceal illegal drugs. It also refers to any apparatus used in producing, packaging, or concealing unlawful substances.
The National Drug Intelligence Center states that it is against the law for anyone to sell, import, or export any drug paraphernalia. This applies to both the United States and other countries. In some states, there are also misdemeanor charges associated with possessing drug paraphernalia. The following items are some examples of drug paraphernalia, but the list is not exhaustive:
- Pipes and bongs
- Baggies, scales, and agents for cutting
- Rolling papers
- Needles, syringes, and complete injection kits
People can use drug paraphernalia for legitimate purposes. For instance, the packaging of pipes, bongs, and rolling papers typically includes a statement that the product’s intention is for use with tobacco. Even though the item bears such a label, it is possible to be charged with illegally possessing drug paraphernalia if one is found in possession. In most cases, the argument that using the items for legitimate purposes can be disproved if there is drug residue or evidence that the person used the items in conjunction with drugs.
Catching someone in possession of drug paraphernalia can result in a misdemeanor charge. However, there are increased penalties if the paraphernalia is sold or given to a minor.