Crime, Arrests, and Law Enforcement

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Police encounters don't have to end in an arrest, or worse. The organization Flex Your Rights has put together a comprehensive guide for citizens on how to properly handle encounters with law enforcement, preserving both personal and public safety as well as one's civil rights. Learn more at their website, FlexYourRights.org.

Overview of Federal Laws Providing for the Death Penalty by the Death Penalty Information Center.

41. Diversion and Fraud

"According to law enforcement reporting, some individuals and criminal groups divert CPDs [controlled prescription drugs] through doctor-shopping and use insurance fraud to fund their schemes. In fact, Aetna, Inc. reports that nearly half of its 1,065 member fraud cases in 2006 (the latest year for which data are available) involved prescription benefits, and most were related to doctor-shopping, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF). CAIF further reports that diversion of CPDs collectively costs insurance companies up to $72.5 billion annually, nearly two-thirds of which is paid by public insurers. Individual insurance plans lose an estimated $9 million to $850 million annually, depending on each plan’s size; much of that cost is passed on to consumers through higher annual premiums."

National Drug Intelligence Center, Drug Enforcement Administration, "National Prescription Drug Threat Assessment," (Washington DC, April 2009), p. 20.
http://www.justice.gov/archive...

42. Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970

"Enacted in 1970, the CSA [Controlled Substances Act] establishes a statutory framework through which the federal government regulates the lawful production, possession, and distribution of controlled substances.7 The CSA places various plants, drugs, and chemicals (such as narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and anabolic steroids) into one of five schedules based on the substance’s medical use, potential for abuse, and safety or dependence liability.8 Further, the act requires persons who handle controlled substances or listed chemicals (such as drug manufacturers, wholesale distributors, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and scientific researchers) to register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in DOJ, which administers and enforces the CSA.9 Registrants must maintain detailed records of their respective controlled substance inventories, as well as establish adequate security controls to minimize theft and diversion.10"

Garvey, Todd, "Medical Marijuana: The Supremacy Clause, Federalism, and the Interplay Between State and Federal Laws," Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, March 6, 2012), p. 2.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mis...

43. Sec. 844. Penalties for simple possession of Controlled Substances in the United States

Sec. 844. Penalties for simple possession of Controlled Substances in the United States
STATUTE
(a) Unlawful acts; penalties
It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess a controlled substance unless such substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order, from a practitioner, while cting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter."
"Any person who violates this subsection may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than 1 year ....."
"if he commits such offense after a prior conviction under this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter, or a prior conviction for any drug, narcotic, or chemical offense chargeable under the law of any State, has become final, he shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for not less than 15 days but not more than 2 years, and shall be fined a minimum of $2,500 ...."
"if he commits such offense after two or more prior convictions under this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter, or two or more prior convictions for any drug, narcotic, or chemical offense chargeable under the law of any State, or a combination of two or more such offenses have become final, he shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for not less than 90 days but not more than 3 years, and shall be fined a minimum of $5,000."

U.S. Code. Title 21, Chapter 13 -- Drug Abuse Prevention and Control -- Section 844, Penalties for Simple Possession, pp. 416-417.
access.gpo.gov/...
http://mapinc.org/url/0npxgLDk

44. Crack/Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity Changed In 2010

On August 3, 2010, President Barack Obama "signed an historic piece of legislation that narrows the crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity from 100:1 to 18:1 and for the first time eliminates the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine."

American Civil Liberties Union, "President Obama Signs Bill Reducing Cocaine Sentencing Disparity," August 3, 2010, last accessed July 26, 2016.
https://www.aclu.org/news/pres...

45. Origin of the Controlled Substances Act

"With increasing use of marijuana and other street drugs during the 1960s, notably by college and high school students, federal drug-control laws came under scrutiny. In July 1969, President Nixon asked Congress to enact legislation to combat rising levels of drug use. Hearings were held, different proposals were considered, and House and Senate conferees filed a conference report in October 1970. The report was quickly adopted by voice vote in both chambers and was signed into law as the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. ... Included in the new law was the Controlled Substances Act."

Eddy, Mark, "Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies," Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: March 31, 2009), p. 3.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mis...

46. DEA Criteria for Schedule II

"Although the petition for review was denied, it led to a revised formulation by the DEA for determining whether a drug has a 'currently accepted medical use.' The 5-part test for fulfilling the accepted medical use criteria of Schedule II is now comprised of the following:
"• the drug’s chemistry must be known and reproducible;
"• there must be adequate safety studies;
"• there must be adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy;
"• the drug must be accepted by qualified experts; and
"• the scientific evidence must be widely available.
"A drug must meet all 5 criteria to be considered for rescheduling by the DEA.
"Even if marijuana were rescheduled under current law it could not be marketed or medically available for general prescription use unless it was reviewed and approved by FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) (see below). Conceivably, a physician may be able to write a prescription for an individual patient with the cooperation of a compounding pharmacist with a schedule II license. However, the FDA treats compounded products as 'new drugs' subject to all the requirements of the FFDCA if pharmacists attempt to compound large quantities of medication."

American Medical Association, Council on Science and Public Health, "Report 3 of the Council on Science and Public Health: Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes" (December 2009) p. 8.
http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/fi...

47. Placement of Drugs in the Controlled Substances Act

"As this paper demonstrates, the pharmacological effect of a drug does not necessarily determine how a drug will be governed. Rather, it is the way a drug is framed that determines how the drug will be popularly understood and ultimately regulated. According to the Regulatory Regime / Norms model, the meaning of any drug (how it is perceived or understood) is initially ambiguous and indeterminate. As a result, the project of getting a drug into a particular regulatory regime is about allocating specific meaning and significance to the drug in order to prompt individuals to think and feel about the drug in a way that allows for regime placement. This is accomplished by framing a drug to match the norms of a particular regime. Thus, the critical work at the level of regulation is in the framing."
"Once a group has persuasively framed a drug in a way that resonates with the norms of its regime of choice, then the drug may be placed in that regime, regardless of whether the designation decision is supported by scientific or medical evidence. As we have seen with cocaine, marijuana and anabolic steroids, however, if a drug in the criminal regulatory regime is closely associated with socially maligned groups or racial minorities, then it is substantially more difficult for the drug to eventually migrate out of the regime."

Paul-Emile, Kimani, "Making Sense of Drug Regulation: A Theory of Law for Drug Control Policy," Fordham University School of Law, Cornell Journal of Law and Policy (December 2009), p. 52.
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/pa...

48. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970:
"(a) Establishment There are established five schedules of controlled substances, to be known as schedules I, II, III, IV, and V ...."
"(b).... The findings required for each of the schedules are as follows:
"(1) Schedule I. - (A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. (B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
"(2) Schedule II. - (A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
"(3) Schedule III. - (A) The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in schedules I and II. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychologicaldependence.
"(4) Schedule IV. - (A) The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III.
"(5) Schedule V. - (A) The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV."

U.S. Code. Title 21, Chapter 13 -- Drug Abuse Prevention and Control -- Section 812, Schedules of Controlled Substances, p. 384.
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/...
http://mapinc.org/url/1NCZaa7Q

49. Police "Stops" Defined

"'Stops' refers to the practice of police officers stopping individuals on the street to question them. In general, police may do this to anyone at any time. But unless and until the police officer tells an individual he or she may not leave, a person stopped is free not to answer questions and to leave. As Supreme Court Justice Harlan said in his opinion in Terry [v. Ohio], ordinarily and unless there are specific facts sufficient to justify the officer’s suspicion that a crime is, has been or may about to be committed, the person stopped has a right to ignore the officer’s questions and walk away. But if the individual may not leave, this is called, as Justice Harlan put it, a 'forcible stop.'
"This is why, when stopped, it is always advisable to ask the police officer politely whether you are free to leave or not. If you are restrained from leaving, you should not resist. But at some point, if the stop is more than brief, you should ask whether you are being arrested. This is because more evidence is required to arrest someone than to stop them for questioning."

Glasser, Ira, "Stop, Question and Frisk: What the Law Says About Your Rights," Drug Policy Alliance (New York, NY: May 2011), p. 4.
http://www.drugpolicy.org/site...

50. Police "Frisks" Defined

"A pat-down frisk is a limited search subject to the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. It involves a police officer patting down an individual’s outer clothing, and only his outer clothing, if and only if, pursuant to a lawful forcible stop, the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the individual stopped is armed and dangerous. This is the only legal justification for a pat-down frisk.
"Reasonable suspicion of any other crime is enough to stop and question an individual, but it is not enough to frisk him. For that, reasonable suspicion that the person is armed and dangerous is required."

Glasser, Ira, "Stop, Question and Frisk: What the Law Says About Your Rights," Drug Policy Alliance (New York, NY: May 2011), p. 4.
http://www.drugpolicy.org/site...

51. Federal Drug Enforcement

"Drug-related activities in the United States span a number of agencies. In addition to the DoD [Department of Defense] activities focused on drug trafficking discussed previously, a range of programs involving intelligence collection, analysis, and sharing are in place at a number of levels. The central actor in counternarcotics and, therefore, domestic intelligence activities in this area is the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration]. The agency’s Intelligence Division manages a number of offices and programs that interface both with other agencies in the intelligence community (e.g., the division’s National Security Intelligence Section) and operations to support state and local law enforcement activities (such as Operation Pipeline, which provides training, communication, and analytic support to local law enforcement targeting private motor vehicles involved in drug trafficking, and Operation Convoy, its commercial vehicle counterpart). The Intelligence Division manages information fusion centers. For example, the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) is the major hub for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating drug related intelligence for all levels of law enforcement and government. It covers drug, alien, and weapon smuggling, as well as terrorism-related smuggling. To support state and local operations, the DEA has organized Mobile Enforcement Teams (METs) to assist state and local law enforcement facing particularly difficult drug-enforcement challenges. When requested by state and local law enforcement, the DEA will send a team to assist in investigation, intelligence collection and analysis, arrests, and prosecution."

Jackson, Brian A.; Noricks, Darcy; and Goldsmith, Benjamin W., "Current Domestic Intelligence Efforts in the United States," RAND Corporation (Santa Monica, CA: 2009), pp. 65-66.
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monog...

52. HIDTA

"The HIDTA [High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area] program, originally authorized by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-690),155 provides assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement operating in areas deemed as the most-impacted by drug trafficking. Each HIDTA is governed by a separate executive board comprised of about eight federal agencies and eight state or local agencies. The program’s main goals are to
"• assess regional drug threats;
"• develop strategies focusing efforts on combating drug trafficking threats;
"• create and fund initiatives to improve these strategies;
"• facilitate coordination between federal, state, and local efforts; and
"• produce efficient drug control efforts to reduce/eliminate the impact of drug trafficking.156

"The Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has the authority to designate areas within the United States and its territories that are centers of illegal drug production, manufacturing, importation, or distribution as HIDTAs—of which there are currently 28."

Finklea, Kristin M., "The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement," Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, July 19, 2011), p. 30.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mis...

53. Temporary Scheduling Authority of the US Attorney General and the DEA

"Because policymakers were concerned about the effects of pharmaceutically created and other modified drugs, Congress gave the Attorney General the authority to temporarily place a substance onto Schedule I of the CSA to 'avoid imminent hazards to public safety.13 When determining whether there is an imminent hazard, the Attorney General (through the DEA) must consider the drug’s history and current pattern of abuse; scope, duration, and significance of abuse; and risk to public health. Once scheduled through this temporary scheduling process, a substance may remain on Schedule I for one year. The Attorney General then has the authority to keep the substance on Schedule I for an additional six months before it must be removed or permanently scheduled."

Sacco, Lisa N. and Finklea, Kristin M., "Synthetic Drugs: Overview and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, October 28, 2011), p. 3.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mis...

54. Crime - Law - CSA - 8-31-10

"Initial schedules of controlled substances Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V shall, unless and until amended (FOOTNOTE 1) pursuant to section 811 of this title, consist of the following drugs or other substances:"

SCHEDULE I
(b): (10) Heroin
(c): (2) 5-methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine [MDMA]. (8) Ibogaine. (9) Lysergic acid diethylamide [LSD] . (10) Marihuana [marijuana, cannabis]. (11) Mescaline. (12) Peyote. (15) Psilocybin. (16) Psilocyn. (17) Tetrahydrocannabinols.
Sec. 3: Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)

SCHEDULE II
(a): (1) Opium and opiate, and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of opium or opiate. (3) Opium poppy and poppy straw. (4) coca (FOOTNOTE 3) leaves, except coca leaves and extracts of coca leaves from which cocaine, ecgonine, and derivatives of ecgonine or their salts have been removed; cocaine, its salts, optical and geometric isomers, and salts of isomers ...
(b:): (6) Fentanyl. (4) Dihydrocodeine. (11) Methadone.

SCHEDULE III
(a): (1) Amphetamine
(e): Anabolic steroids

SCHEDULE IV
(1) Barbital. (7) Meprobamate [Milltown].

SCHEDULE V
(1) Not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams.
(5) Not more than 100 milligrams of opium per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams.

U.S. Code. Title 21, Chapter 13 -- Drug Abuse Prevention and Control -- Section 844, Penalties for Simple Possession, pp. 385-387.
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/...
http://mapinc.org/url/1NCZaa7Q
http://www.deadiversion.usdoj....

55. Drug Policy Reform and Criminal Justice Priorities

"Some experts propose easing certain laws to allow the government to concentrate its limited resources on the most pressing criminal activities. For example, some advocate decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Others, concerned that the government may be overwhelmed, have proposed legalizing some counterfeit products and easing certain piracy restrictions. Intellectual property-related legal changes would probably require contentious negotiations with affected U.S. industries. Approaches such as these can be controversial and politically difficult; critics believe they risk sending society an inappropriate message. But some argue that similar strategies are already employed. The United States, for example, has taken steps to regularize the status of certain illegal immigrants. Many foreign countries have reduced legal penalties for marijuana possession. Some experts propose more funding for studies on various policies’ economic and social effects."

Wagley, John R., "Transnational Organized Crime: Principal Threats and U.S. Responses," Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, March 20, 2006), p. CRS 14.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nat...

56. Drug Decriminalization and Violent Crime

"Generalizing from the findings on Prohibition, we can hypothesize that decriminalization would increase the use of the previously criminalized drug, but would decrease violence associated with attempts to control illicit markets and as resolutions to disputes between buyers and sellers. Moreover, because the perception of violence associated with the drug market can lead people who are not directly involved to be prepared for violent self-defense, there could be additional reductions in peripheral settings when disputes arise (see Blumstein & Cork, 1997; Sheley & Wright, 1996)."

Jensen, Gary F., "Prohibition, Alcohol, and Murder: Untangling Countervailing Mechanisms," Homicide Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA, February 2000), pp. 33-4.
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publi...

57. Effect of Police Crackdowns

The Canadian Medical Association Journal published research on the impact of a police crackdown on a public illicit drug market in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) section of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The researchers found that:

"We detected no reduction in druguse frequency or drug price in response to a large-scale police crackdown on drug users in Vancouver's DTES. The evidence that drugs became more difficult to obtain was consistent with reports of displacement of drug dealers and was supported by the significantly higher rates of reporting that police presence had affected where drugs were used, including changes in neighbourhood and increases in use in public places. These observations were validated by examination of needle-exchange statistics.

"Our findings are consistent with those showing that demand for illicit drugs enables the illicit drug market to adapt to and overcome enforcement-related constraints. Although evidence suggested that police presence made it more difficult to obtain drugs, this appeared to be explained by displacement of drug dealers."

Wood, Evan, Patricia M. Spittal, Will Small, Thomas Kerr, Kathy Li, Robert S. Hogg, Mark W. Tyndall, Julio S.G. Montaner, Martin T. Schechter, "Displacement of Canada's Largest Public Illicit Drug Market In Response To A Police Crackdown," Canadian Medical Association Journal, May 11, 2004: 170(10), p. 1554.
http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content...

58. Effect of Police Crackdowns

The Canadian Medical Association Journal published research on the impact of a police crackdown on a public illicit drug market in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) section of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The researchers found that:
"Our results probably explain reports of increased injection drug use, drug-related crime and other public-order concerns in neighbourhoods where activities related to illicit drug use and the sex trade emerged or intensified in the wake of the crackdown. Such displacement has profound public-health implications if it "normalizes" injection drug use among previously unexposed at-risk youth. Furthermore, since difficulty in obtaining syringes has been shown to be a significant factor in promoting syringe sharing among IDUs in Vancouver, displacement away from sources of sterile syringes may increase the rates of bloodborne diseases. Escalated police presence may also explain the observed reduction in willingness to use a safer injection facility.33 It is unlikely that the lack of benefit of the crackdown was due to insufficient police resources. Larger crackdowns in the United States, which often involved helicopters to supplement foot and car patrols, have not had measurable benefits and have instead been associated with substantial health and social harms."

Wood, Evan, Patricia M. Spittal, Will Small, Thomas Kerr, Kathy Li, Robert S. Hogg, Mark W. Tyndall, Julio S.G. Montaner, Martin T. Schechter, "Displacement of Canada's Largest Public Illicit Drug Market In Response To A Police Crackdown," Canadian Medical Association Journal, May 11, 2004: 170(10), pp. 1554-1555.
http://www.cmaj.ca/content/170...

59. Law Enforcement Targeting of Racial/Ethnic Minorities

"Police departments deploy most patrol and narcotics police to certain neighborhoods, usually designated "high crime." These are disproportionately low-income, and disproportionately African-American and Latino neighborhoods. It is in these neighborhoods where the police make most patrols, and where they stop and search the most vehicles and individuals, looking for "contraband" of any type in order to make an arrest. The item that young people in any neighborhood are most likely to possess, which can get them arrested, is a small amount of marijuana. In short, the arrests are racially-biased mainly because the police are systematically "fishing" for arrests in only some neighborhoods, and methodically searching only some "fish."5 This produces what has been termed "racism without racists."6"

Harry G. Levine, Jon B. Gettman, Loren Siegel. "Targeting Blacks for Marijuana: Possession Arrests of African Americans in California, 2004-08.” Drug Policy Alliance, LA: June 2010.
http://marijuana-arrests.com/d...
http://marijuana-arrests.com/r...

60. Crime - Research - 2-14-12

(Drugs and Gang Homicides) "The finding that gang homicides commonly were not precipitated by drug trade/use or other crimes in progress also is similar to previous research; however, this finding challenges public perceptions on gang homicides (5). The public often has viewed gangs, drug trade/use, crime, and homicides as interconnected factors; however, studies have shown little connection between gang homicides and drug trade/use and crime (5). Gangs and gang members are involved in a variety of high-risk behaviors that sometimes include drug and crime involvement, but gang-related homicides usually are attributed to other circumstances (6)."

"Gang Homicides — Five U.S. Cities, 2003–2008," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, January 27, 2012) Vol. 61, No. 3, p. 48.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk...

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