Illegal drugs are involved with crime in the United States in a multiple of ways. Because it is a crime to manufacture, distribute, or possess certain types of drugs classified categorized as having a possibility of abuse, various types of drug crimes are committed as a result. The types of drugs involved in these types of crimes include morphine, heroin, ecstasy, amphetamines, and cocaine.
It’s not simply drug dealers who are caught illegally dealing drugs who are arrested and charged for a crime. Possessing controlled substances illegally for personal use can have you paying a large fine and/or serving time in prison too. It’s wise to understand the types of crimes that involve drugs, including those related to the possession, manufacturing, and intent to supply illegally controlled substances.
5 Crimes Involving Drugs
- Drug Possession – State and federal laws make it illegal to possess (willfully) controlled substances, such as heroin, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, and others. The possession constitutes a crime, whether the possession of drug is for one’s own personal use, to distribute the drug, or otherwise sell the drug. However, the crime is categorized by the amount of drug in the individual’s possession.
- Drug Distribution. In terms of a drug crimes, distribution typically refers to a person being accused of illegally delivering or selling a controlled substance. The penalties for drug distribution vary depending on the amount and type of drugs distributed, location of the distribution, and whether minors were involved. Sentences can vary from a fine with imprisonment of three years to life in prison.
- Drug Manufacturing. If an individual is involved in any way in any step of the production process of an illegal, controlled drug, they can be charged with the crime of drug manufacturing. The crime of cultivating and manufacturing of marijuana varies by state because of the medical use exceptions in certain states.
- Drug Trafficking. As a felony, drug trafficking crimes can have a more serious penalty than simple possession of a small amount of drugs. It is illegal to transport or import illegally controlled substances due to drug trafficking laws. Drug trafficking usually involves the transport of a large amounts of controlled substances.
- Drug Dealing. While similar to drug trafficking, drug dealing involves the sale of illegal controlled substances on a smaller scale. As such, the punishment for a drug dealing crime, whereby one person sells a small amount of drugs, is typically less severe than drug trafficking where large amounts of illegal drugs are sold, transported, or exported.
Other Crimes That Often Involve Drugs
In addition to these five common drug crimes that often involve drugs, drug paraphernalia, burglary, theft, robbery, traffic offenses, and stolen property crimes are other common crimes that involve drugs. For example, it is against the law to sell drug paraphernalia, such as bongs, syringes, pipes, and rolling papers, that is intended to be used to prepare, inject, inhale, or conceal an illegal drug.
Not all drug crimes involve the manufacturing and distribution of drugs however. Through the effects they instill on the user’s behavior, such as provoking violence, drugs are connected to other crimes, such as assault, family offense, and sexual offense, for examples.
Moreover, while knowing the various crimes that are related to drugs is wise, it is important to understand that using drugs can lead to abuse and addiction. This abuse and addiction often leads to burglary and robbery as the need for the drug increases, along with the amount needed to fuel the addiction, in order to secure money to purchase more drugs.
Beyond the drugs and crimes connection, drug use that turns into abuse and addiction can cause health problems, foster unstable relationships with your friends and family, and jeopardize your job and financial well-being.