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drug, Kane County drug crimes attorneyWe have discussed the dangers of the synthetic opioid fentanyl in previous posts. The extremely potent substance is significantly stronger than heroin or morphine and is responsible for thousands of overdose deaths each year. Many individuals have died after using heroin which was secretly laced with fentanyl. Only three milligrams of the powder is enough to kill a grown man. The enormously unsafe nature of fentanyl has even led to legislation which allows drug dealers who sell fentanyl-laced products to be charged with homicide. However, a new synthetic opioid which is even more potent than fentanyl is now being discovered in homes across the United States, and lawmakers are responding sternly.

Carfentanil is a Deadly Synthetic Opioid

While fentanyl continues to be a massive public health concern, Carfentanil has even more sinister implications. The substance was originally engineered to be an elephant tranquilizer, but some people are now risking their lives by using it recreationally. The drug’s extreme toxicity has even provoked concerns that terrorists could use it as a weapon of mass destruction. Needless to say, law enforcement and legislators are paying close attention to this drug.

Dark Web Dealer Faces Life in Prison

A man faces possible life behind bars after being arrested on drug distribution charges in June of last year. Federal agents searching the Californian home discovered a large quantity of carfentanil as well as hundreds of vials of ketamine and fentanyl tablets. The 39-year-old San Francisco resident recently pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances using the "dark web."

More and more drug dealers are using the internet to buy and sell illicit drugs. The term "dark web" refers to specific websites which are not indexed by web search engines and can only be accessed using specific "back door" methods. The man will have to serve 10 years in federal prison at a minimum, but experts suspect that he will actually be sentenced to many more years. The 1.7 grams of Carfentanil found in his home is enough to kill over 86,000 people. The man was also charged with conspiracy to launder money and will be forced to surrender the bitcoin cryptocurrency he used during the illegal online transactions.

Facing Drug Charges?

If you have been arrested on drug-related charges, you need an attorney who can help you understand your legal options and make the best decisions possible moving forward. To schedule a free, confidential initial consultation about your drug manufacturing and delivery case, contact an experienced Illinois drug crimes defense lawyer. Call 847-488-0889 today.

Sources:

https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/29/why-fentanyl-is-deadlier-than-heroin/

https://www.courthousenews.com/dark-web-drug-dealer-looking-at-life-in-prison/

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marijuana, Elgin criminal defense attorneyOpioid abuse has become a major public health crisis in recent decades. Many individuals become addicted to opioids after being prescribed drugs such as codeine, hydrocodone, OxyContin, or Percocet to manage extreme pain. Opioids are extremely addictive, and when a person continually takes these drugs, they eventually need more and more to feel the same pain-relieving effects. Many people become addicted to pain pills and then end up turning to heroin or fentanyl. Each day, an estimated 155 people lose their lives to opioid overdose. Some experts believe that medical cannabis could be the key to reducing the staggering number of opioid overdose deaths.

Studies Compared States with Legalized Medical Marijuana in States Without Legalized Marijuana

Recently, two studies regarding the medicinal benefits of cannabis were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers compared opioid prescription frequency for states which have allowed the legal use of marijuana to those states which have not adopted legalized cannabis. One study analyzed opioid prescriptions covered by Medicare Part D and the other considered opioid prescriptions covered by Medicaid.

Through the investigation, it was determined that states which allow medical cannabis had 2.21 million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed than states without legalized medicinal marijuana. Furthermore, states which allow citizens to use marijuana for medical purposes have 5.88% fewer opioid prescriptions under Medicaid than states which have not legalized medicinal use. David Bradford, researcher, and professor of public administration and policy at the University of Georgia describes the significance of these comparisons. "This study adds one more brick in the wall in the argument that cannabis clearly has medical applications," he explains.

Low-Level Possession of Marijuana in Illinois Is Decriminalized

Medical marijuana is legal in Illinois for those who are properly registered with the state, but possession for any other reason is against the law. Holding less than 10 grams of marijuana is only a civil violation which incurs a maximum fine of $200. Possession of a larger amount of marijuana can be considered a felony offense which is punishable by several years in jail. The sale, trafficking, or cultivation of marijuana in Illinois is punishable by even more severe consequences.

If You Have Been Charged with a Drug-Related Criminal Offense, You Need an Attorney

Those found guilty of drug charges can face serious punitive consequences including imprisonment. If you are an Illinois resident who has been arrested for a drug-related crime, an effective defense strategy can help keep you out of jail. To speak with an experienced Kane County drug crimes attorney from The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, call 847-488-0889 today.

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/02/health/medical-cannabis-law-opioid-prescription-study/index.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005500K4

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opioids, Elgin criminal defense attorneyRecreational use of opioids like heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine has become more popular than ever. These highly addictive drugs are designed to fight extreme pain, but many people either use them recreationally or become addicted and eventually need the drugs to simply feel normal.

It is a vicious cycle. Many of those who become addicted start off using prescribed pain pills but when the prescription runs out, they turn to buying the pills illegally. Others find that pills are not effective or available and turn to heroin for relief. Heroin is especially dangerous because it is often mixed with fentanyl, which is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and many times that of heroin. The combination of easy access to the drugs, the prevalence of fentanyl-laced heroin, and the extremely addictive nature of these substances have dramatically increased the number of people who die from overdose. Of the 64,000 reported drug overdose deaths in 2016, two-thirds were linked to opioids. This represents an increase in drug overdose deaths of over 20 percent since 2015.

Deadliest Drug Overdose Crisis in US History

Another startling statistic is the increase in America’s murder rate. Data shows that the rate at which murders are committed in the United States has risen in 2015, 2016, and the first half of 2017. Criminal justice experts suggest that this three-year increase in murders could be linked to the opioid crisis. In the past, opioid misuse was mostly limited to people stealing or selling pain pills, but today, the problem is mostly driven by illicit drugs. In fact, before 2015, prescription pain medications were the biggest cause of drug overdose deaths. Everything started to change around 2014 when fentanyl-related overdoses  began to climb sharply. Currently, synthetic opioids like fentanyl are responsible for more overdoses than any other drug. Experts believe that with this shift from prescribed pain pills to illicit drugs came more violence.

Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri explains, "As demand for illicit drugs increases, people enter the underground drug market to purchase the drug. Those underground markets tend to be relatively volatile and sometimes violent places, so I’m suggesting that what we’re seeing here is a spike in drug-related homicides associated with drug transactions that become violent." While the link between the increasing murder rate and opioid abuse is not completely understood, data suggests that the American population has every reason to be troubled by this opioid crisis.

Are You Facing Drug-Related Charges?

Getting involved with illegal drugs can be an extremely slippery slope. Those found guilty of possessing or selling substances like heroin can face devastating punitive and personal consequences. If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, you need an attorney who will fight for your rights. Contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense lawyer for help today. Call 847-488-0889 for a free, confidential consultation of your case at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.

Sources:

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2017-preliminary-semiannual-crime-stats-released

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/6/16934054/opioid-epidemic-murder-violent-crime

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