The law enforcement agencies and the justice system has kept a strong grip on the drug-related issues; while the law enforcement agencies focus mainly on stopping the trade of drugs, the justice system aims to punish the offenders in order to set an example and reduce such future crimes.
Why is the war on drugs necessary?
It is necessary to control the sale, distribution, manufacture and use of drugs because of their impact on:
- The health and wellness of the person (taking the drugs) are affected greatly.
- The relationships, family life and friends’ circle of the person (taking the drugs) are affected greatly.
- The career of the person (taking the drugs) are affected greatly.
If a person gets addicted to drugs then not only will this have the following ramifications, but it might also affect their finances, as they will have to spend a lot to purchase these drugs and if they don’t have the funds to finance their addiction, then they might turn to stealing, embezzlement or other such criminal means.
What are the consequences of manufacture, sale or distribution of drugs in certain areas?
There are some places and properties where any drug related activity is prohibited according to the VA law Section 18.2-255.2. If caught violating this law, the offender might get a prison sentence of one to five years, and a fine of $100,000. Such places include:
- Day care centers
- Elementary schools
- Middle schools
- High schools
- Any public property within a 1,000 feet radius of any day care, school or higher education institution
- School buses
- Any place, bus stop, designated pickup or drop off location where school buses make a stop or where children are nearby
- Public libraries
- Community centers
- Recreational centers for the general public
- Any public property in a 1,000 feet radius of any public library, community center or public recreational center
What are the consequences of a drug-related offense?
Most drug-related offenses fall under the Section 18.2-26 of VA law, however this isn’t the only kind of drug offense.
In case of a drug-related felony:
- Covered in Section 18.2-257(a) of VA law
- The offender will receive a prison sentence of one to 10 years, unless a lesser sentence is specified by the court of Virginia
In case of a drug-related misdemeanor:
- Covered in Section 18.2-257(b)
- A drug-related misdemeanor will fall under the category of a Class 2 misdemeanor
- The offender will receive a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to $1,000, unless a lesser penalty is specified by the court of Virginia
What are the consequences of planning a drug-related offense?
If a person is involved in a drug-related conspiracy or is planning to sell, manufacture or distribute any illegal substances in Virginia (with or without the offense actually taking place), he/she will receive the same punishments as a person who has already committed the offense. The offender will be charged with the same sentences and fines as are stated in Section 18.2-256.