Cocaine Legality

February 6, 2010

 

It is an illegal offense in the United States to be in possession of cocaine and also to sell it. It is a Schedule 2 drug and persons found with it, with the intent to use or distribute it may face jail time. 

 

Schedule 2 drugs are those that pose a significant risk of addiction. What primarily differentiates them from Schedule 1 drugs is that they have some redeeming medical value. For example, cocaine falls on this list because it can be used as an anesthetic.  Other drugs classified as Schedule 2 are methamphetamines, opium, Fentanyl, opium, amphetamines and morphine. Because these drugs may have some medical uses, they may be prescribed by physicians.

 

There are five drug classifications created under The Controlled Substances Act, which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services. The five classifications are Schedule 1, Schedule 2, Schedule 3, Schedule 4 and Schedule 5.  Schedule 1 drugs are considered the most dangerous to users and society with Schedule 5 drugs considered the least so in both categories.  Cocaine, as mentioned above is a Schedule 2 drug, which means that the potential for abuse is high. The primary thing that saves it from being placed on the Schedule 1 list is that this does have some medical uses.

 

There has been some controversy regarding sentencing rates and lengths of offenders caught with cocaine with either the intent to use or sell. The sentencing rates and the amount of jail time offenders were handed down were significantly lower than those associated with crack cocaine. Many people viewed this as racist and classist. Those persons typically arrested for cocaine violations were white and better off financially, while those with crack violations tended to be poor and black. Recently, some effort has been made to look into this issue and create laws which guarantee fairer sentencing. 

 

It is illegal to use and distribute cocaine in the United States. Individuals found doing so face prosecution and jail time. However, there are some medical uses for cocaine and in some countries it is even used as a local anesthetic.

 

 

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