In recent years, drug crime penalties across the US have changed drastically. In the 2020 presidential election, several states passed laws that significantly adjusted drug crime laws - which could set a new precedent across the US.
Today, we're looking at how recent adjustments to drug laws in several states may affect drug crimes across the US going forward.
To schedule a consultation with our team for a drug crimes case, contact our office online or via phone at (817) 497-8148.
How Did the 2020 Election Change Drug Laws Across the US?
The 2020 election saw some notable changes to drug laws across various US states. Some of the more notable changes to drug laws as a result of the 2020 election included:
- Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota all voted to legalize recreational cannabis.
- Mississippi and South Dakota legalized medical cannabis.
- The District of Colombia (DC) decriminalized psilocybin - the main compound found in “magic mushrooms” - and other psychedelic plants.
- Oregon decriminalized small amounts of every notable “hard” drug, including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines. Individuals found in possession of these substances must now pay a fine or attend a meeting with an addiction counselor and specialist. The state also decriminalized psilocybin and provided psilocybin providers with a path towards distributing psilocybin products legally.
What Do These Changes Mean for the US?
These changes could have dramatic ripple effects on drug laws in other states. For example, cannabis is still technically a Schedule 1 drug, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
However, 34 US states, DC, and four US territories have all voted to decriminalize the medical use of cannabis, and many states have also legalized its recreational use. This widespread legalization could push the DEA to officially declassify cannabis as an illegal substance altogether, or at least reduce its classification.
Additionally, the push towards legalization - especially for substances such as psilocybin that were once completely off the legalization roadmap - could bode well for legalization advocates across the country. We could see more strict states start to decriminalize substances such as cannabis, and more relaxed states follow Oregon's lead in decriminalizing other substances as well.
At the Law Office of Mark M. Childress, we'll work with you to help you navigate your drug crimes case.
To schedule a consultation with our team or learn more about our process, contact us online or via phone at (817) 497-8148.