Last week, just days before leaving office, President Barack Obama granted clemency to hundreds of federal prisoners, most of whom were in prison for non-violent drug charges. While this may not seem like many, it comes following previous actions by the president, who in total has commuted 1,385 sentences, more than any president before.
What does it all mean? Over the past few years, more people are beginning to believe that the United States' War on Drugs campaign may have been an overreach. Obama's actions suggest that he agrees. In recent years, marijuana use has become more common, with many states allowing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, and a few states even legalizing it for recreational purposes. Federal law, however, still does not allow the use of marijuana for any purpose, though this is seldom enforced on a federal level.
Throughout the United States, however, including Pennsylvania, states still take drug offenses seriously. There are many different offenses for drug use, including but not limited to drug distribution, intent to distribute, drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, drug possession, and even possession of drug paraphernalia.
Drug offenses are often met with serious long-term and even lifelong consequences in many cases. The best way to protect yourself when fighting a drug charge is to arm yourself with a strong legal team at your side to fight the charges. You may be to negotiate a plea deal, or in some instances, get your sentence reduced or, depending on the circumstances, get your case dropped. Your life and your future are too valuable to lose.
Source: Huffington Post, "Along with Chelsea Manning, Obama Granted Hundreds Of Federal Drug Offenders Early Freedom," By Ryan J. Reilly, Jan. 17, 2017