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Drug Trafficking - Criminal Penalties For Trafficking

five grams prison marijuana

Federal Penalties

The Controlled Substances Act (PL 91-513, 1970, last amended in 2000) provides penalties for the unlawful manufacture, distribution, and dispensing (or trafficking) of controlled substances, based on the schedule (rank) of the drug or substance. Generally, the more dangerous the drug and the larger the quantity involved, the stiffer the penalty. Trafficking of heroin, cocaine, LSD, and PCP, all Schedule I or II drugs (see Table 2.1 in Chapter 2), includes mandatory jail time and fines. A person caught selling at least five hundred grams but less than five kilograms of cocaine powder (seventeen ounces to just under eleven pounds) will receive a minimum of five years in prison and may be fined up to $2 million for a first offense. (See Table 6.1.) The same penalty is imposed for the sale of five to forty-nine grams of cocaine base ("crack"). Five grams are equal to the weight of six plain M&Ms candies, and forty-nine grams are a little more than a bag of M&Ms candies (47.9 grams). The high penalty for selling crack is an expression of the unusual severity with which legislators are trying to curb the use of this drug.

Penalties double with the second offense to ten years in prison and up to $4 million in fines. When higher quantities are involved (five or more kilograms of cocaine powder, fifty grams or more of crack, etc.), penalties for the first offense are ten years, and fines up to $4 million may be levied. For the second offense, twenty years and up to $8 million in fines are given, and the third offense results in mandatory life imprisonment. These examples are for an individual. Higher penalties apply if an organized group is involved or if a death or injury is associated with the arrest event.

These penalties apply also to the sale of fentanyl (a powerful painkiller medicine) or like-acting drugs, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, and PCP. The smallest amount, which can earn someone a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $2 million, involves trafficking in LSD, where a one-gram amount carries a five-year minimum sentence in prison.

Punishments for marijuana, hashish, and hashish oil are shown in Table 6.2. Special penalties exist for marijuana trafficking, since it may be traded in large quantities or grown in substantial amounts. The lower the amounts sold or the fewer the plants grown, the lower the sentence. A person cultivating one to fortynine plants or selling less than fifty kilograms of marijuana mixture, ten kilograms or less of hashish, or one kilogram or less of hashish oil may get a FIGURE 6.1
Drug smuggling in the 1990s
SOURCE: "Drug Smuggling in the 1990s," in Drug Intelligence Brief: The Evolution of the Drug Threat: The 1980s through 2002, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, October 2002, http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/intel/02046/02046.html (accessed February 17, 2005)
maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentences for second offenses involving large amounts of marijuana may earn the trafficker up to life imprisonment.

State Laws

The states have the discretionary power to make their own drug laws. Possession of marijuana may be a misdemeanor in one state but a felony in another. Prison sentences can also vary for the same charges in different states—distribution of five hundred grams of cocaine as a Class C felony may specify ten to fifty years in one state and twenty-four to forty years in another.

Changes in 1990 to the Controlled Substances Act (PL 101-647) led to more than 450 new drug laws in forty-four states and the District of Columbia. Most states have followed the model of the Controlled Substances Act and have enacted laws that facilitate seizure of drug-trafficking profits, specify greater penalties for trafficking, and promote "user accountability" by punishing drug users.

FIGURE 6.2
Current drug threat, 2002
SOURCE: "Current Drug Threat," in Drug Intelligence Brief: The Evolution of the Drug Threat: The 1980s through 2002, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, October 2002, http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/intel/02046/02046.html (accessed February 17, 2005)

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over 2 years ago

Set your life time easier get the credit loans and everything you need.

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over 3 years ago

my girl was arrested for trafficking she smuggled in a county prison in sullivan, county in indiana she had spice which is legal they sell here at the gas station they arrrested her booked her into jail bonded herself out gaqve court date now what
1st time ever arrested what crime and pentalities will she get

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over 2 years ago

MARIJUANA!!!!!! :)

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over 2 years ago

id like to know how much time my son may receive for the charge of trafficking 90 percocets in north varolina

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over 2 years ago

id like to know how much time my son may receive for the charge of trafficking 90 percocets in north varolina

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almost 2 years ago

my boyfriend has 2 counts of cocAINE trafficking howe long would he get?

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about 2 years ago

I had a desire to begin my own commerce, however I did not have got enough of cash to do this. Thank goodness my fellow told to use the mortgage loans "goodfinance-blog.com". So I used the car loan and made real my old dream.

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about 2 years ago

In response to the question posed by julie smith, where-as I cannot specicically answer for what the exact charges in her situation will be, I can answer what the first time charges against someone in possesion of spice is. I had a run in with the law regarding that substance in Indiana, and where-as possessing, purchasing, or selling it is not a crime, smoking it or having it on your persons while having anything deemed "paraphernalia" will result in a public intoxication and possession of paraphernalia charge. Wether you are presently high on it or not, if you have any pipe on your persons or within proximity of your persons (ie in your car or in the grass next to you) you can and will be charged with those. In indiana anything that can be used to smoke or conceal spice or other drugs is considered paraphernalia. I have seen people arrested and charged, simply for having an unopened spice package on their persons and rolling papers in their car. old film canisters or the product known as "smelly bags", that are designed to contain the smell of marijauna, are also considered paraphernalia in the state of indiana. Or at least I have seen people charged with possession of paraphernalia and public intoxication for having items such as these on their persons or within proximity of their persons. I myself was arrested and charged with these for simply having a bag of spice on my persons and a pipe in my car which had no spice in it. Your best bet for avoiding these charges is to stick to purchasing the spice which comes in plastic containers with easily removable labels, removing the labels, and keeping to the ones in those containers that smell similar to marijauna. When you are arrested claim that it is fact marijauna. Most officers will fall for this trick and arrest you for possesion of marijauna, paraphernalia, and public intoxication if you have been smoking it and are high. As soon as they get it to evidence and it is tested however, it will come back as not marijauna, and then the charges against you will be inaccurate and the evidence for those crimes will be false, and your case will simply be thrown out (even if you had a pipe with it in it and were high on spice at the time of arrest). Im not entirely sure why they operate like that, but i have seen other more extreme cases thrown out due to mislabled evidence. A cousin of mine was arrested with an ounce of marijauna on him, while driving on a suspended license with no insurance in an unregistered car, and for having an unregistered handgun in his possesion without a permit to carry. His case was thrown out because the cop who was processing the evidence miswrote the serial number on the gun. So bear those things in mind. She will most likely be charged for the smuggling it in, unless its not on the list of things not allowed into the prison, at which point as long as she didnt have any paraphernalia on her then she should be fine. Not entirely positive though hope that helps out people who are into spice avoid charges =P

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