Drugs have been illegal just about as long as they have existed. Laws governing their manufacture, circulation, and use have been a topic of controversy and discussion for decades. But with the legalization of marijuana in many states, drugs have become even more of a hot topic today. Drug laws in each state forbid the possession, production, and sale of some substances such as marijuana, meth, cocaine, ecstasy and heroin. Each state has its own drug laws. Although the majority of federal drug convictions are due to trafficking, local and state detentions are due to possession.
The severity of penalties after a conviction is a main difference between federal and state drug laws. Federal drug charges can lead to longer sentences, while state arrests for simple possession are generally classified as misdemeanors, which typically include probation, local jail or a fine. These drug laws are applied based on the criminal history and age of the individual.
What Makes Something an Illegal Drug?
One of the main reasons that alcohol is not illegal is because it is not as addictive as most illegal substances. A smaller percentage of people who drink regularly become alcoholics than people who use illicit substances regularly become addicts. In that same manner, the production and distribution of alcohol is highly regulated, something that is impossible with illegal drugs. However, a person who is addicted to alcohol has a slightly higher chance of dying or having serious physical and mental repercussions than someone who is addicted to drugs. The reason for this is because alcohol is legal and is more readily available than any other drug.
The danger of many illegal drugs is not only how addictive they are, but also how they are made and the serious economical effects of their production. For example, the production of heroin funds dangerous cartels in Latin America. Regularly taking heroin can cause serious nervous system and gastrointestinal problems.
While not all who take drugs become addicts, those that do almost always suffer from life-long physical side effects. Even a single overdose can be lethal, especially in the case of narcotics. Some of the most harmful drugs are not even illegal. For more information about drug laws or to seek addiction treatment contact White Plains drug rehab centers at (914) 368-0277.