August 06, 2015
Drug Abuse and Crime – An Inseparable Pair
The abuse of illicit drugs cost the United States approximately $193 billion in 2007 alone. This number comes from expenses related to health care, crime and lost work productivity, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse – and crime is the biggest contributing factor at more than $61 billion annually. While this number is staggering, the effects on the individual are, predictably, devastating.
The Facts About Drug Abuse and Crime
- According to the 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment, crack cocaine and ice methamphetamine are the drugs whose use contribute the most to criminal activity, while heroin alone contributes a significant amount to property crimes.
- Drug offenses constitute the charges of 48.6% of inmates in American prisons, far surpassing every other crime.
- As of June 27, 2015, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reports that more than 95,000 inmates were incarcerated on drug charges.
- The United States is the world’s largest consumer of cocaine, Colombian heroin and Mexican heroin and marijuana.
Types of Drug Charges
While certain states and even cities (such as Columbia, MO and Wichita, KS) have decriminalized marijuana in some capacity or have reduced penalties, there are still many drugs whose use and abuse carry very serious charges – and the number of drugs grows every day.
Common charges include:
- Distribution, sale and trafficking
- Possession of drugs
- Possession of paraphernalia
Consequences of Marijuana Charges
Marijuana has the highest rates of dependency or abuse among all drugs, after alcohol. Even if the only crime you commit is using marijuana (as in, you don’t trespass, commit violent crimes, etc. while under the influence), current Missouri and Kansas laws mean you can still face serious consequences for your actions.
When it comes to marijuana, penalties in the state of Missouri range from one year and/or $1,000 to 10 years to life and/or a fine up to $20,000. Currently, possession of less than 35 grams or of paraphernalia are considered misdemeanors, while other offenses are various degrees of felonies.
In Kansas, charges carry much steeper financial consequences. The shortest incarceration sentence is 10 months, while the greatest maximum fine is a whopping $500,000.
Contact a Lawyer Today
For more information about the specific laws and penalties in your state, for marijuana and other illicit drugs, we encourage you to contact the legal team at Daniel C. Miller in Lee’s Summit at (816) 875-0470 today.