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Each state and the federal government have laws against the unlawful use, manufacture, and distribution of drugs. The purpose of these laws is to reduce the unlawful consumption of drugs, reduce drug-related crimes, and severely punish repeat offenders and major drug dealers. Drug Schedules Federal drug statutes classify controlled substances according to “schedules.” The Attorney General has the authority to delete, add or reschedule substances. State schedules refer to or are based on federal schedules. Drugs included on these schedules are referred to as “Controlled Dangerous Substances” (“CDSs”). Punishment for drug and narcotic offenses generally depends on:
Some states have enhanced penalties for drug crimes. These penalties go into effect if:
§ 21-28-4.01 Prohibited acts A – Penalties. – (a)
(1) Except as authorized by this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance.
(2) Any person who is not a drug-addicted person, as defined in § 21-28-1.02(18), who violates this subsection with respect to a controlled substance classified in schedule I or II, except the substance classified as marijuana, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned to a term up to life or fined not more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) nor less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.
(3) Where the deliverance as prohibited in this subsection shall be the proximate cause of death to the person to whom the controlled substance is delivered, it shall not be a defense that the person delivering the substance was at the time of delivery, a drug-addicted person as defined in § 21-28-1.02(18).
(4) Any person, except as provided for in subdivision (2) of this subsection, who violates this subsection with respect to:
(i) A controlled substance, classified in schedule I or II, is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than thirty (30) years, or fined not more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) nor less than three thousand dollars ($3,000), or both;
Special laws cover professional drug dealers. A “drug kingpin,” or a person organizing, financing, or managing a business to manufacture, transport or sell drugs, commits a serious crime. Special sentences are reserved for professional drug dealers. The federal government has the death penalty for drug kingpins. Some states impose 25 years imprisonment without parole for professional drug dealers.(401) 861-1155