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The Legal Ramifications of Drug Use

The Legal Ramifications of Drug Use

Drug use may result in jail time

According to averages from the 2011 and 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs), roughly 7.45 percent of Iowa residents ages 12 and over reported using illicit drugs in the month prior to being surveyed. As many as 6.1 percent of the same population reported using marijuana in the past year, and 5.2 percent reported using pain relievers non-medically in the past year. It can be easy to get involved in illegal activities like drug abuse, especially when you are unfamiliar with the legal consequences that could occur. The following are some federal and state laws and consequences of drug use Des Moines residents should be aware of.

Federal Laws against Drug Use

In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was signed into law as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. This act placed substances into five separate classifications, called Schedules, based on their potential for abuse. Each Schedule also specifies whether a substance has an accepted medical use and whether or not its use can lead to dependence. By placing drugs and other substances into these categories, laws and penalties can be tiered based on Schedules.

According to the CSA, it is illegal to possess a controlled substance if it was not acquired through a valid prescription. Those charged with breaking this law for the first time may be sentenced a minimum fine of $1,000 and no more than a year term of imprisonment. Those who have previously been convicted of this crime once before may face imprisonment for up to two years and a minimum fine of $2,500. Furthermore, those repeating this offense for more than the second time may face up to three years of imprisonment and a minimum fine of $5,000.

Iowa State Laws against Drug Use

In the state of Iowa, there are also specific state laws regarding drug use. In this state, laws regarding marijuana possession and use are held separately from other controlled substances. In regards to marijuana use, the first offense of possession may result in up to six months of jail time and a minimum fine of $1,000. The second time a person is charged with this offense, he or she may face up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,850. The third offense warrants up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of $6,250.

The Iowa state laws regarding other controlled substances are even steeper. The first offense results in up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,850. The second offense may result in up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of $6,250. Lastly, the third offense is considered a class D felony and may result in up to five years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $7,500.

Furthermore, possession of a Schedule I, II or III substance within 1,000 feet of a school or park may warrant further penalties. This includes all school property, public parks, swimming pools, recreation centers and on a marked school bus. Those charged with this offense may be required to complete 100 hours of community service work in addition to fines and jail time.

Get Help for Drug Addiction

If you or a loved one in Des Moines has become addicted to drugs, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatment options for drug addiction.