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The Real Reason Why Drug Possession Charges Are So Severe

The penalties for drug possession in Raleigh are steep. If law enforcement finds you with more than one-half ounce of marijuana, jail-time is a real possibility, if not a certainty. In a country where overpopulation in jails is a major issue, a lot of people wonder why a “victimless crime” comes with such harsh punishments.

Our Present Laws Were Created in the Early 1900s

If you look at a timeline of our country’s drug laws, you’ll see that many of the things that are illegal today were once readily used, both by doctors in surgery and also recreationally. Interestingly, some states began enacting drug prohibition laws shortly before alcohol became illegal, though the latter was repealed after only about 13 years. Perhaps the most troubling of all, however, is the amount of misinformation that was prevalent at the time. Lawmakers, and even the New York Times, openly spoke about how marijuana makes people “crazy.” How substances truly affect the body, the nature of their addictiveness, and what type of people use them, remains the subject of numerous scientific studies and debates today. In other words, society still doesn’t have the answers, but we’re a lot closer to having them now than we were when the laws were created.

Public Opinion Has Shifted Over Time

Back in 1971, President Nixon began the “War on Drugs.” The Reagans continued to push the issue throughout the 1980s and by the 1990s, 73% of Americans wanted major drug-traffickers to face a mandatory death-penalty, according to PEW Research. Moreover, 57% thought it was acceptable for law enforcement to search a known dealer’s home without a warrant. Presently, nearly 50% of inmates are incarcerated on drug-related charges. For comparison, the second-leading offense includes weapons, explosives, and arson, and is responsible for just 16% of incarcerations. Nowadays, only 26% of the population would like to see users prosecuted, while 67% prefer treatment options, even for people who use things like cocaine and heroin. Furthermore, 63% of people think it’s a good idea for the government to move away from mandatory drug possession sentences and 76% say no time should be served at all for small amounts of marijuana.

Raleigh Drug Possession Attorney

Legislation regarding illegal substances is changing throughout the country. In some cases, the penalties are becoming lesser, while in others, the consequences are even more severe and clear-cut. If you’re involved in a legal situation, it’s imperative to have someone on your side who understands the latest changes in legislation and why the laws are written the way they are. This helps to ensure you’re treated fairly and may enable your attorney to have your charges either dismissed or the penalties lessened. Without an expert on your side, you may wind up with a lifetime of consequences that can affect everything from where you live to where you work. For a no-obligation consultation, please contact us using our online form or talk to one of our attorneys now by calling 919-833-5555.