Cocaine in the U.S.

By on 2-18-2014 in Criminal Laws

A drug-related offense is always a serious matter and its effects can last beyond hefty fines and a long time behind bars. It can alter and even damage a person’s professional goals, as well as his or her private life, as it can cause lots of restrictions and inconveniences that may hinder him or her from living the kind of life he or she wants to live. Besides such, Cape Cod-based lawyer James Powderly, goes on to say on his website that, with the federal and local governments bent on catching drug offenders, more are expected to be caught and charged.

Acts that fall under a drug charge include manufacture, distribution, selling, possession, and use of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. In the US, the second most widely used illegal drug, after marijuana, is cocaine. Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of the United States due to its high potential for abuse; for certain purposes, however, doctors may administer it to patients. (CSA, which was signed into law by the US Congress in 1970, serves as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act; it is a federal drug policy that regulates the importation, manufacture, distribution, possession and use of certain substances.)

The use of cocaine in the US became widespread, first among textile mill, railroad and factory workers during the latter part of the 1800s. It was even supplied by employers to their laborers, especially to African Americans whom employers saw as better physical workers, to keep workers alert and able to render longer working hours for increased productivity.

Today, cocaine is also known as “a rich man’s drug,” due to its common use by people from the middle to the upper class. To party lovers and college students, however, the name “party drug,” has been associated to it. Though famous around the globe, the U.S. remains to be the world’s largest cocaine consumer. And one reason why many continue to be drawn to this drug is the instant sense of bliss that it provides, which can make a user alert, talkative and confident – things alien to the user under normal circumstances.

Such feelings, though, get replaced by irritability, anxiety and depression as the drug’s effect wears off; thus the tendency is to use it again, but this time, in larger amounts, putting the user at great risk of having an overdose, the drug’s main health hazard.

The severity of the punishment imposed on those guilty of acts involving cocaine depends on the amount of drug found in their possession. Possession of cocaine, even in small amounts, can result in at least a $10,000 fine plus imprisonment. More than 500 grams of cocaine possession can result in 5 – 40 years imprisonment or 20 years – life and a fine that can amount to $2 million if serious injury or death is traced to this highly addictive drug.

It will take a really good defense to get someone off the hook and, thus, save that someone’s future. Not all lawyers are capable of standing against the challenges of a drug-related court case, though. It will take a fast-thinking, well-trained and experienced lawyer who will be able to present a good argument on behalf of the accused.