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 What Is a Drug Crime?

Drug crimes are just what they sound like, criminal offenses involving drugs. Every state in the United States as well as the federal government have laws that govern the address the possession, use, manufacture, and sale of certain drugs.

Each drug crime has specific standards and results in different penalties, especially related to the severity of the crime that was committed. Drug crimes typically include offenses such as:

  • Possession: Drug possession is the most common drug-related offense. Drug possession charges usually arise when an individual is knowingly in possession of a drug without authorization, for example, when the individual has a drug without a valid prescription;
    • Drug possession charges usually take into account the amount of the drug. Because of this, the penalties may vary depending on whether the amount is for personal use or for sale and distribution;
  • Manufacturing: Drug manufacturing usually involves creating or cooking a synthetic chemical substance or extracting a natural drug;
    • For example, manufacturing may involve cooking methamphetamines or growing illegal marijuana;
    • Packaging a drug for resale can also count as manufacturing;
  • Use: The use of illegal drugs can be a crime, especially in cases where the drug requires a prescription from a doctor and the defendant does not have the required prescription; and
  • Distribution: This type of drug crime includes the following with an illegal substance:
    • Selling;
    • Smuggling;
    • Trafficking; and
    • Delivering.

Trafficking is another serious drug offense. It is largely dependent on the amount of drugs that are involved as well as the type of drug involved.

What Are Club Drugs?

Certain drugs are referred to as club drugs because they are commonly used in clubs. These types of drugs are typically psychoactive in nature.

Teenagers and young adults often use these types of drugs at:

  • Bars;
  • Nightclubs;
  • Concerts; and
  • Parties.

Although certain drugs, such as Rohypnol, ecstasy, ketamine have been used in the past, new drugs and new variations are constantly being made. Many club drugs are considered designer drugs because they are man-made and manufactured rather than found in or derived from nature.

This means that individuals chemically create the drugs instead of being grown like marijuana or opiates.

Are Club Drugs Illegal?

The majority of club drugs are illegal. They may cause serious illness, injury, or even death.

These types of drugs may be unpredictable in their effects. They may also include different ingredients than the consumer anticipates.

Many of these types of drugs look similar to prescription medications and appear to be safe. Some individuals, however, may consume these drugs without knowing exactly what is in the drug or what is combined with the drug that may be dangerous.

What Types of Drugs Count as Club Drugs? What Are Their Effects?

The most popular club drugs that individuals consume include:

  • MDMA (ecstasy);
  • Rohypnol;
  • GHB;
  • Flakka;
  • Ketamine; and
  • LSD.

Each of these drugs has different effects. In addition, every individual reacts differently to club drugs, which is one reason they can be so dangerous.

Symptoms may vary depending on the individual, the drug, the dosage, and whether or not other materials or ingredients were added to the drug. Common examples of club drugs include:

  • Ecstasy: Ecstasy, also referred to as X, E, and MDMA, is the common or street name for a hallucinogenic methamphetamine derivative. It is commonly used at parties because its stimulant and psychedelic effects allow party-goers to dance and remain active for long period;
  • Rohypnol: Rohypnol, also sometimes referred to as a roofie, is a sedative. It is legally available for prescription in over 50 countries outside the U.S. It is used for deep sedation;
    • This drug is commonly used in the commission of sexual assaults;
  • GHB: In low doses, GHB has been used as an experimental treatment for narcolepsy, with sedative effects similar to Rohypnol. However, it has also earned a reputation as a club drug;
    • GHB is available in a colorless, tasteless liquid form and a white powder material. It is frequently combined with alcohol to heighten its effects;
    • Along with Rohypnol, GHB has earned a reputation for its use in sexual assault and rape. It is also occasionally used by bodybuilders and athletes for its alleged anabolic effects; and
  • Ketamine: Ketamine is a powerful sedative known as Special K or Vitamin K. It is derived from PCP. It is commonly used on animals at veterinary hospitals;
    • Effects of the drug begin within minutes of taking the drug and may last up to an hour, depending on the individual and the dosage;
    • Liquid ketamine may be added to drinks or smokeable materials, such as tobacco or marijuana, or can be injected;
    • Powdered ketamine may also be added to drinks, smoked, or dissolved, and then injected;
    • Effects of ketamine use include hallucinations and dream-like states;
      • The long-term effects of ketamine abuse have not yet been thoroughly studied. However, it has been suggested that certain symptoms may recur without the drug, and psychosis may occur with chronic use.

What Are the Penalties for the Possession or Sale of Club Drugs?

Club drugs are relatively new concerning drug use and illegal drugs. Many states, however, have been building frameworks for how to address criminal violations regarding the sale and possession of:

  • GHB;
  • Ketamine;
  • Ecstasy; and
  • Rohypnol.

Although every state has its rules governing drug crimes and possession, the maximum prison term for selling and possessing these club drugs can be as much as life in prison. In addition, an individual may find themselves facing both federal and state drug charges.

There is no form of legal ecstasy possession in the United States. Even a small amount of this substance will get an individual in trouble with the law.

Although a small amount may result in misdemeanor charges, the possession of 25 grams or more of ecstasy may result in a felony charge. If convicted, an individual may face fines of up to $1 million and a prison sentence of over one year.

Depending on the state where an individual resides, the maximum penalties may include the following:

  • For the sale of ketamine: Life in prison;
  • For possession of ketamine: 20 years in prison;
  • For the sale of Rphypnol, GHB, and ketamine: maximum fines of $750,000; and
  • For the sale of ecstasy: Maximum fines of $1 million for the sale of ecstasy.

The maximum fines a defendant may face for possession of club drugs are more varied but are still significant and include the following:

  • For the illegal possession of Ketamine: $500,000;
  • For possession of GHB: $600,000;
  • For Rohypnol: $750,000; and
  • For possession of ecstasy: $1 million.

Depending on the laws of an individual’s state, they may face a combination of fines and prison time for the sale or possession of the drugs listed above. If an individual is facing sale or possession charges, they may find it helpful to discuss their case with an attorney.

Should I Talk to a Lawyer for Help with Club Drug Issues?

If you are facing any type of charge that is related to club drugs, you should consult with a drug lawyer for advice on your case. Your lawyer can give you advice and explain what to expect during the process.

Your lawyer can also protect your rights and represent you in court, which will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

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