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Drug Charges Archives

Civil rights groups closely watching Proposition 64

On Nov. 8, California residents will vote on a number of important ballot measures, and one of them has been widely supported by groups advocating for the legalization of marijuana as well as by civil rights organizations. If Proposition 64 passes, California residents and adults visiting the state will be able to possess up to an ounce of the drug legally, and the measure's passage would also allow judges in the Golden State to revisit the sentences handed down to individuals who have been convicted of marijuana-related offenses made legal by the measure during the last two years.

Report criticizes harsh sentences for minor drug offenses

California residents may be interested in a report released on Oct. 12 by the American Civil Liberties Union that looked at drug possession arrests. It found that significant resources were devoted to prosecuting people for possessing relatively small amounts of drugs and that many people received lengthy prison sentences. The report urged decriminalization of these offenses.

Evidence the prosecution needs to prove drug possession

When a California resident is accused of drug possession, the authorities and prosecution must prove that the accused person was knowingly in possession of illegal substances. In order to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, there are certain legal requirements that must be met.

'El Chapo" Guzmán cleared for extradition

Mexican drug lord Joaquín 'El Chapo" Guzmán has been cleared for extradition and is now expected to answer charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California for cocaine importation. The notorious criminal will also face the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas for a range of charges, including murder, conspiracy and drug trafficking.

Criminal charges for History Channel favorite

Not all reality shows are vapid and sensational as the popular History Channel series "Pawn Stars" often features historical information and interesting finds from all over the world that are brought before pawn brokers who must authenticate and bargain for them. California fans of the show may be familiar with Austin Russell, who is better known as "Chumlee." He is now receiving attention not for his pawning prowess but an entanglement with law enforcement after he was detained by police on March 9.

Venezuelan national guard head and general to face drug charges

California residents might have heard that the head of Venezuela's National Guard is one of the country's high-ranking officials who will face drug-related charges. While officials in Venezuela have claimed that the investigations are efforts to destabilize the government, federal investigators say that people in the armed forces and high in the government are also involved in trafficking cocaine.

Drug crimes and the federal prison population

Between 1980 and 2012, the number of detainees in federal prisons increased by approximately 800 percent. California residents may not be surprised that nearly half of these individuals are held on drug convictions. However, it might be surprising to note that more than one-third of the drug offenders held had little or no prior criminal history. The "War on Drugs" is credited with much of the effort to penalize those who traffic in drugs, the offense at issue in the majority of cases for current prisoners held on drug convictions.

Man sentenced to 3 years for smuggling marijuana

On Sept. 28, it was reported that a California federal court sentenced a 24-year-old man to more than three years in prison for smuggling marijuana into the country. The report stated that the man, who pleaded guilty to a drug charge in January, smuggled more than 11,000 pounds of the drug in from Mexico.

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