Prescott Valley police detained two young men, an 18-year-old and a 22-year-old, on misdemeanor crimes related to the use of drugs. In addition to the drug charges, police also say that they discovered evidence of other criminal activity. In the course of the investigation that originally was drug-related, police and prosecutors also filed multiple counts of theft and receiving stolen property.
Illegal drugs can enter the United States in a variety of ways. One way is for people to carry illegal drugs in backpacks across our nation's border. Recently, the U.S. government has significantly changed the way such cases will be prosecuted.
Certain minor drug crimes, such as marijuana possession, are increasingly being decriminalized in states across the nation. Arizona, however, still takes a hard stance against drug offenses, from mere possession to drug manufacturing and trafficking. It is important that those who are accused of drug crimes in Arizona take action to defend themselves.
Due to our nation's current opioid epidemic, it may seem like more people than ever are being charged with drug crimes involving unlawfully obtained prescription painkillers, heroin and more. The penalties one would face if convicted of possessing, manufacturing or trafficking illegal drugs in Arizona varies depending on the type and amount of drugs at issue.
Drug use -- particularly the use of opioids -- is becoming a public health crisis in Arizona and across the nation. Steps need to be taken to address the issue and try to reverse the damage it has done to our society. As reported in an earlier post on this blog, the Arizona House of Representatives considered a bill that would legalize needle exchange programs. It passed the bill in February, and that bill recently advanced to the Arizona Senate. However, the bill did undergo major changes from the House version of the bill.
These days, not everyone views marijuana as "the gateway drug." Many people believe that marijuana is not as harmful and dangerous as it had been made out to be in the past. In fact, some states are starting to decriminalize marijuana by significantly reducing the penalties associated with possession of the drug. And, a few states have even made the possession and sale of marijuana legal, either for medicinal purposes or recreationally.
While medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, there are rules physicians must follow when it comes to prescribing it. Recently, a measure was passed by the Arizona House Health Committee regarding medical marijuana. Under House Bill 2067, if a physician did not follow state rules regarding the prescription of medical marijuana, then that physician will be charged with a felony. If convicted, they could be incarcerated for up to 12 months. As it stands right now, if a physician does not follow state rules regarding the prescription of medical marijuana, they will be disciplined by the medical board and could lose their license to practice medicine. This bill passed the House Health Committee six to three. Next, the measure will go through a standard constitutional review, and then move on to the whole House.
Addiction can be a powerful thing, and some people in Arizona will continue to use the drugs they are addicted to, even if doing so is illegal. Not only is the use of certain drugs illegal, but even the possession of drug paraphernalia is against the law. For example, hypodermic syringes are, under Arizona law, a type of drug paraphernalia. The distribution of drug paraphernalia in the state is a Class 6 felony.
Imagine this: you're driving down the road in Prescott Valley when suddenly you see red and blue lights flashing in your rear-view mirror and the sound of a police siren blaring. It's a situation that no driver wants to be in. As you rack your brain trying to think of what you did wrong, the officer approaches your car to tell you you've been speeding.
In Arizona, not only is it illegal to possess drugs, but it is even unlawful to simply possess drug paraphernalia. However, just what falls under the realm of "drug paraphernalia?"