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The Legal Ramifications of Drug Use

The Legal Ramifications of Drug Use

Drug use may result in jail time

Federal laws regarding drug use in the US are outlined and determined by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA was enacted into law by the United States congress, and it serves as the federal drug policy that regulates the manufacturing, importation, possession, use and distribution of drugs in the US.

Federal laws use what is known as a schedule, which divides certain drugs into classifications. This schedule is managed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, and these two federal agencies determine which drugs fall into which category and which substances need to be removed or added.

The schedule of controlled substances plays a big role in determining the laws and legal penalties of a particular substance. For example, drugs that fall under Schedule I have a higher potential for abuse and have no accepted medical use in the US. A few examples of Schedule I drugs include LSD, MDMA and heroin, and the legal penalties for the use, distribution and possession of these drugs are much steeper than drugs that fall lower on the classification schedule.

Federal drug trafficking laws are strict, and while they vary depending on the drug type and amount being trafficked, a first offense can cost anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars and earn a person a hefty jail sentencing, with some substances resulting in life sentencing. Drug trafficking is defined as the unlawful distribution or possession with intent to distribute, manufacture, import or export.

Federal drug possession laws also vary by drug type and amount, and on average a first offense will result in fines no less than $1,000 and perhaps jail time or probation. Multiple offenses will increase the fine amount and can cost someone up to three years in jail.

Federal penalties are especially tough when drug possession, manufacturing or distribution takes place near a school, college or youth-centered recreational facility or is directly distributed to a person under the age of 21 by someone age 18 or older. These penalties are often double what they would be.

State laws sometimes disagree with federal laws, a well-known example of this would be the legal status and legal punishments for marijuana use, manufacturing and distribution. The supremacy clause of the US Constitution states that federal government trumps state legislation if there is ever a disagreement or clashing of federal and state laws. However, state legislation is oftentimes helpful as drug habits and trends vary from region to region. In certain areas, different drugs may have higher penalties and fines, and certain laws may differ from state-to-state.

You don’t have to hit rock bottom before you reach out for drug abuse or addiction help. Legal, social and health repercussions can be prevented if you decide to take action and treat the issues at hand. If you are ready to get help, you can call our toll-free helpline today. Our trained addiction counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you find the information, resources and treatment services you need to achieve long-term recovery success. Whether you need questions answered or concerns addressed, we are happy to provide you with the information and assistance you need to connect with the treatment services and recovery options that are right for you. Help is just a phone call away; learn more about your drug-free future today.

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