A Norwood man was arrested and charged with the crime of distribution of a class C drug. The drug was nor cocaine, heroin or even marijuana. In fact it is a commonly prescribed medication.
The drug was Adderall.
The description reads like your typical observation sale type of criminal investigation.
Members of the Boston Police District E-5/E-18 Drug Control Unit in the Home Depot parking lot, a known place for drug transactions, according to law enforcement. One vehicle allegedly parked in the farthest spot from the store when there were plenty of other spots closer to the store. soon,
another vehicle came, and one driver got into the other’s vehicle.
Believing they were seeing a drug deal, police approached the vehicle and displayed their badges.
Apparently not regular readers of Attorney Sam’s Take, the pair decided to make statements to the police.
The man was arrested for the distribution of Adderall and his companion was charged for buying it.
The man and his alleged customer are not the only ones charged in such a scenario. Two other gentlemen were charged for a similar suspected drug deal in Roxbury. This time it was Percocet.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Perscription Drug Prosecution
Perhaps it isn’t a surprise to you that illegal drug transactions can involve prescription drugs. Maybe the fact that law-enforcement actually prosecutes such cases does not surprise you either. However, I find that many people do not realize that the laws regarding these medications is the same as it is with illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin and ecstasy.
For example, let’s say you had Adderall prescribed to you. That prescription lapsed a year ago. However, you still have a few Adderall left and you’re going to a very difficult time. Therefore, you taken Adderall to help yourself concentrate on matters at hand. Have you broken the law?
You have. As long as that prescription is no longer in effect, or there is no new prescription for the medication see you in a fact, you’re taking that medication or even processing it is illegal.
“Well, what if I give one to my roommate to get him through a difficult afternoon?”
Then you both would have broken the law. Your roommate broke the law by possessing the drug and you broke the law by distributing the drug.
“What if it was lawfully prescribed to me at the time I gave it to my roommate?”
You still committed the felony of distributing that medication to your roommate. That is, unless you wire a physician who could prescribe it to your roommate. The fact that you legally possessed it does not allow you to distribute it. In fact, the distribution makes your possession a possession with intent to distribute.
Remember that no money needs to change hands in order for distribution to be distribution.
“Well, how far does this go? I mean, what if I can having a hard time with pain and my parents have prescription painkillers. They have active prescriptions. They give me one to help me with my pain. What then?”
The same thing. You’ll guilty of the possession and they guilty of the distribution.
“Does the Commonwealth prosecute all these cases?”
Probably not. However, they do prosecute a great deal of them. I have handled such cases. I have even handled the case where my client was prescribed the medication and He lost the bottle of medication. He then contacted a friend to give him medication to replace that which he lost so that he could have the medication. Remember, the prescription was in effect. However, because his friend was not his physician, the sale Was not legal. The case was prosecuted.
Fortunately, in some of these cases, cooler heads than the typical prosecutors prevail. Sometimes, the case is set up for a clerks hearing and he can be resolve at that stage. Sometimes, you have to argue the case in front of a jury. Many jurors will be low to convict somebody in this circumstance. But, like every jury trial, That is a gamble.
“So, what do I do if I am found in possession of prescription drugs and do not have a valid prescription for them?”
Get an experienced attorney who has dealt with such cases… Just like any criminal case. Because, in reality, it is a criminal case.
“What if a close friend or family member gave me the medication? Can’t I just tell law-enforcement that?”
Sure you can. That is, if you want to find yourself being a commonwealth witness against them after they are rested for the felony of distribution.
“This makes no sense.”
Now you are catching on.
If you find yourself in this quandary, find somebody with experience so they can explain the alternate logic for you.
For the original story upon which this blog was based, please go to http://westroxbury.patch.com/articles/norwood-man-arrested-for-distribution-of-adderall-in-home-depot-parking-lot and http://norwood.patch.com/topics/norwood+arrests