Drug use continues to be an ongoing problem in the United States. In 2014, there were 21.5 million American adults that were battling a substance abuse disorder, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. While it is huge problem in society, there’s also the question as to whether or not illegal drug use is a victimless crime.
This is an important question to raise as many charges, as well as prison sentences, are based on whether a crime, in turn, affected other people. Typically, the more people that are victims of harm due to the crime committed, the harsher the punishment.
Definition of a Victimless Crime
There are some opposing views as to the exact definition of a "victimless crime." By definition, though, victimless crime is one that is considered non-harmful or non-threatening to anyone besides the person who is committing the crime or between two consenting adults.
Consenting Drug Use
Some argue that participating in the use of and buying an illegal drug contributes to a bigger problem. This argument looks at how the use, dealing, and buying of drugs can contribute to the country’s drug epidemic that causes over 44,000 overdose deaths a year. In addition, thousands of non-drug users are killed each year in drug and gang-related incidents.
When one looks at the buying and dealing aspect of drug use, it can be seen as a crime that is not victimless, but one that harms other people indirectly. However, if someone is consenting to and participates in illegal drug use, that act itself does not harm anyone besides the person using the drug.
Drug charges are typically serious offenses and could lead to high fines and extended jail time for those charged. Every drug case is different, depending on the individual’s circumstances. Because of this, it’s especially important to get an experienced drug defense lawyer in your corner who can help you through the nuances of your case.
Contact our firm at (888) 966-8480 to discuss your possible drug charge defenses.