The Logic Behind Common Drug Possession Charges

Marijuana, Tips & how-to

Drug charges in the United States vary on both a federal and state level. Accordingly, this impacts the different drug laws and regulations that are set forth. While some states have approved the legality of certain substances and uses, such as marijuana and prescription medications, others have not. The rules and reprimands are not written in black and white. Therefore, drug charges must be based on several different factors. These include the following:

  • Volume of drugs involved
  • Type of drug at hand
  • Purpose of the drug
    • Manufacturing
    • Distribution/trafficking
    • Personal use
  • Prescribed vs. unprescribed use
  • Age of defendant
  • Criminal history of defendant
  • Location of possession

These factors ultimately determine whether the defendant is charged with a first offense, second offense or probation violation. If the offender is charged with a misdemeanor, this usually involves probation, a fine or short jail time. However, if the offender is charged with a felony, this involves a much higher fine (at least $1,000) along with prison time (usually a minimum of one year).

As stated above, the location of the drug offense also has a lot to do with the ultimate ruling. For instance, if the perpetrator was found with substances on school grounds, the charge is more likely to be a felony. Trafficking and the sale of high volume amounts of drugs are also considered national level offenses, or felony crimes.

State vs. Federal

Accordingly, it is important to recognize the difference between state and federal drug charges, as these two offenses are both handled differently. For a federal offense, the crime is investigated by the FBI or DEA. These crimes are thought to be more detrimental to both the defendant and society as a whole. On the other hand, state crimes are investigated by local officials and, in such cases, the charge is always less severe.

The legalization of certain drugs varies on a national or local level. For example, marijuana is entirely legal in both Washington and Colorado but legal only for medical purposes in other states. In Texas, however, the use of marijuana is simply a crime altogether. Federal and state drug charges are specific to the substance’s type and local regulations.

The main types of illicit drugs can be broken down into five categories. This includes narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens and cannabis. Within these five groups are many illegal (or legal) substances:


  • Opium
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone


  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • Halcion
  • Librium


  • Khat
  • Cocaine
  • Crack cocaine
  • Ritalin
  • Dexedrine


  • LSD “acid”
  • PCP
  • Mushrooms
  • Ayahuasca
  • Peyote
  • Ecstasy


  • Marijuana
  • Hashish

This is simply a brief overview of the more common illicit drugs that can lead to federal and state charges. Other substances of concern include bath salts, DMX (cough suppressors), and many more. With a prescription, some of these drugs may be legally used in different states. However, with regards to recreational or profitable uses, more often than not the drug is considered an offense.

Drug charges, whether at a state of federal level, are serious. If an individual is charged with drug use, manufacturing and/or trafficking, it is essential that they seek legal help. The Blumenreich Law Firm is a strong candidate eager to serve and defend those accused with drug charges. Josh Blumenreich is an experienced defense attorney for all Arizonans. Working with The Blumenreich Law Firm provides the reassurance and skill needed to fight drug offenses of all types.