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Drug Schedules in Annapolis
Drug laws in Annapolis and throughout Maryland prohibit the possession of certain controlled, dangerous substances and the unlawful distribution or intent to distribute those substances. The manufacturing and/or trafficking of these substances are also illegal. An Annapolis drug lawyer who is well versed in the Annapolis drug schedules can help you if you might be facing charges.
Controlled Dangerous Substances
Controlled dangerous substances have been evaluated by the courts and legislature and found to have little, if any, medically-approved purposes. They would only be lawfully possessed with a valid prescription. They are controlled because of the impact that they can have on a person‘s well-being, health, and behavior. Controlled dangerous substances are ranked in Annapolis drug schedules.
There are different degrees of abuse for controlled dangerous substances. Some people are recreational users and others are addicted. Psychological dependence is one of the most important factors that the legislature uses in determining what substances are controlled dangerous substances and where they fall in Annapolis drug structures.
The attitude towards marijuana as a controlled dangerous substance is different from the attitude that society has towards other drugs. Marijuana is considered less serious or dangerous than many other drugs.
More serious drugs, like heroin or cocaine, have associated stigmas because they are seen as addictive and facilitators of other crimes. The courts have a stricter attitude when prosecuting drug cases for substances other than marijuana.
The most serious drugs are at the top of the Annapolis drug schedules. Class 1 substances include heroin, cocaine, and MDMA. Each subsequent drug schedule is a step-down category determined by the likelihood of addiction and use in modern medicine.
Drugs that are medically-approved but abused are a hot issue in the court system right now, as well as in election cycles throughout the country. It is apparent that medically-approved drugs, which are otherwise lawful, are abused. More programs are being developed to address this.
More attention is being paid to medically-approved drugs now than ever before. Those working in court systems must understand that people could have been in lawful possession of medication before becoming addicted. That can result in continued use and abuse long after the medication was medically necessary.
In these cases, people are more often moved towards treatment than jail time.
Decriminalization of Marijuana
Decriminalization of a drug means that the government has determined that it is not appropriate to incarcerate or criminally punish people who have been found with possession of that certain drug. The penalties that the court will impose may be civil in nature, such as fines, rather than with a period of incarceration or potential incarceration.
Decriminalization applies primarily to marijuana in Maryland. Whereas marijuana used to have only decriminalization rules for medicinal purposes, now any amount that is less than 10 grams has been decriminalized and the individual involved will not face any criminal penalties. Marijuana is typically decriminalized throughout various legal jurisdictions.
This decriminalization is not unique to Annapolis, because it is the law throughout the state of Maryland. Marijuana has also been decriminalized in District of Columbia, but possessing any amount of marijuana in Virginia can be criminally punished.
People may sometimes believe that decriminalization means that something is no longer illegal and they can freely use it. However, that is not necessarily true. Something being decriminalized means that it does not have criminal penalties, which is different than it being legal.
Speeding, for example, is still not legal, but it is not punishable with jail time. The decriminalization of marijuana is treated in much the same way. The penalties are only fines.
How An Attorney Can Help
A lawyer will be able to assist a person in determining whether the controlled dangerous drug was legally procured by law enforcement. The attorney will consider whether the search of the person, their vehicle, home, or belongings that resulted in the discovery of the substances was within the parameters of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.
Even if a person was properly searched and the drugs were properly found, a lawyer will try to prevent the drugs from being introduced into evidence, if possible. If not, the attorney will protect the accused’s Constitutional rights by ensuring that all of the appropriate steps have been taken before the state is able to introduce those pieces of evidence into court.
An attorney will handle other aspects of the case, such as ensuring the client is involved in appropriate drug education programs before court and setting up mitigating factors to show the prosecutor and the judge in an effort to have the charges reduced or dismissed.