As we've discussed at length on our blog, the draconian mandatory minimum sentencing scheme for federal drug crimes introduced back in the 1980s has long been derided as unduly punitive and exceedingly expensive, sentencing those convicted of nonviolent drug crimes to prison for life or what amounts to life.
In our post last week, we discussed how the federal government affirmed its commitment to treating marijuana as an illegal narcotic with the Drug Enforcement Administration's recent announcement that the drug would continue to be classified under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
At the moment, an astounding 42 states permit residents to use medical marijuana in some capacity, while nearly half the states have passed laws decriminalizing the possession of a small amount of marijuana. Indeed, Illinois enacted just such a measure a few weeks back, such that possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana is no longer punishable by up to six months in jail and up to $1,500 in fines, but rather a fine of $100 to $200.
In a series of ongoing posts, our blog has been exploring how the federal courts treat drug charges in an attempt to help people better understand how this seemingly arcane and often unforgiving criminal justice system works.
The Department of Justice has made headlines over the last few years for its dogged -- and perhaps somewhat unusual -- pursuit of Tennessee-based FedEx.
Though the general public's attitude about drugs continues to evolve, legislators are often slow to respond and reflect those changes in our laws. Here in Illinois, lawmakers have grudgingly extended our state's Medical Cannabis Pilot Program through the summer of 2020. The program had been due to expire next year.
In a previous post, we began discussing how the Controlled Substances Act classifies drugs into five separate schedules based on such factors as the drug's accepted medical use, potential for abuse and potential for addiction.
People are often so caught off-guard or so distraught in the immediate aftermath of an arrest on drug-related charges that they understandably fail to make a mental note of what law enforcement agency actually carried out the arrest.
Unless it has ever happened to you, you might never realize that police can do more to a person they suspect of a drug crime than simply arrest them. Police in Illinois also have the power to seize a suspect’s money, cars, even their home. And they do not have to give any of it back, even if the suspect is never charged with a crime.
Marijuana is a staple of the world of drug crimes, though in controversial fashion. Over the years, the calls for marijuana to be decriminalized have grown louder and the topic is no longer on the fringe, as if it shouldn't be talked about. To the contrary, the topic is at the forefront of the criminal justice system, and with states in the United States changing their laws to allow people to possess recreational amounts of marijuana, you can see that the times are changing.