Being accused of a drug crime is a serious predicament to be in. This is especially true when it is a person's first offense, and they are not fully aware of the situation or the potential penalties he or she could face. Even when a drug crime appears to be simple or minor, it could carry with it significant consequences that could impact the accused's personal and professional life and reputation. Thus, it is important for individuals in Minnesota and elsewhere accused of a drug crime to understand the situation and how they could assert a defense against the charges.
Facing criminal allegations is a tough predicament to be in. Individuals in Minnesota facing drug charges might be under the impression that they have little to no options fighting evidence collected against them. However, there are a wide variety of defense routes available to those accused of drug crimes. Challenging evidence is a mechanism that could help defendants reduce or even dismiss the charges against them.
Across the Twin Cities, the state of Minnesota, and indeed the entire country, there are extensive and punishing laws on the books that go after people who are accused of drug crimes. These laws have immense penalties that often change the course of a person's life, leaving them in a very difficult and precarious positions should they be found guilty and ever get out of prison.
While people generally know that using nonprescription drugs is illegal, they may not know that possessing items used in the consumption of those drugs is also illegal. Surprisingly, many of the items considered drug paraphernalia are actually things that many people have in their own homes.
In our last post, we talked about the scheduling system and the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This seminal piece of legislation forever changed how the US tackled drug crimes, and we've been in the "War on Drugs" ever since. The "success," so much as it is, of this "war" is in the eye of the beholder.
You probably don't think about the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 that much on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. But it is one of the most important pieces of legislation in the world of criminal law in the last half-century. The Controlled Substances Act combined all federal laws at the time dealing with drug crimes and unified them under a single statute.
This may seem like a plot point straight out of a crime thriller, but this really happened in Washington D.C. An evidence vault at a police department was struck by an explosion recently, damaged evidence packets. About 150 of the packets suffered "significant" damage or were destroyed. It is unclear exactly what "significant" means in this context, but since it is paired up with packets that were "destroyed", it sure sounds like the evidence is no longer admissible.
When people think of those who are charged with drug crimes, they often conjure up mental pictures of homelessness, theft, and other types of crime and decay. However, not everyone who is accused of a drug or related crime fits this mold. One group that routinely comes into contact with prescription drugs is health care workers. When someone working in this position is living with addiction, some of those drugs may not make it to the intended patients. A recent investigation conducted by a local news station reveals this is an issue in Minnesota hospitals.
Marijuana wax is a concentrate, and is not the same as the typical marijuana that is rolled and smoked, or that is baked into edible treats. While concentrated forms of the drug have been around for thousands of years, the wax can have a dangerous hallucinatory side effect that is typically not found with smoking or ingesting the drug. The wax is also called dabs, shatter, or honey oil, and its use has been spreading.
Opioid addiction is a growing problem throughout the country, and Congress is currently looking for new ways to handle the issue. Among the ideas to help people with addictions is shifting the focus from a criminal matter to a health matter. That's not to say that using or abusing drugs won't still be a crime, but that the opportunities for people to get help and rebuild their lives will be more abundant. Funding for treatment programs will be increased, allowing people who are struggling with opioid addiction to have health care that they would not have otherwise received.