When people talk about drug trafficking, they often picture Hollywood-style kingpins with numerous employees and an organized distribution network. The reality of drug trafficking is often much smaller in scale and less exciting than those dramatized ideas.
Drug trafficking involves the illegal or unlicensed distribution, transportation or sale of prohibited or controlled substances. It isn’t just banned drugs like marijuana or heroin that can send people to prison. If you make the wrong choice with your leftover prescription medication, that might potentially lead to drug trafficking charges.
You cannot sell or give away unused medication
There are strict rules about prescription medications for a reason. Many of them lend themselves to abuse or can easily cause addiction. Other drugs may dangerously interact with other medications. Doctors need to know when someone takes a prescription for their safety and to track the most dangerous medications for public safety.
When someone bypasses the standard prescription practices in the United States by retaining leftover medication and then selling or giving it to people that they know, they put themselves at legal risk as much as they contribute to the medical risk for the other party. If police officers happen upon the exchange or if the other party gets arrested while in possession of or under the influence of your medication, you might find yourself facing charges.
The weight of the medication will influence the exact penalties you face. The schedule classification of the medication could impact what penalties you face as well. Judges and prosecutors are particularly zealous about narcotic pain medication, although any prescription drug trafficking could result in the maximum penalties possible with the wrong judge.
Knowing which behaviors the state may classify as criminal drug offenses can help you avoid innocent mistakes with lasting repercussions.