What's the Difference Between State and Federal Drug Trafficking Laws? Pt. 2

In a previous blog, we began discussing the differences between state and federal drug trafficking laws, which concern producing, transporting, selling, and other conduct involving drugs. We noted that both Ohio and federal statutes list specific penalties for trafficking in Schedule I or II controlled substances with the exception of some drugs. Although we explored the differences between Schedule I and II trafficking penalties, we did not delve deeply into the substances that were excluded from these sections of the laws.

In this blog, we'll pick up where the previous left off. We'll elaborate only on the punishments for the controlled substances included as exceptions in the Schedule I and II trafficking penalties. Those exceptions being marijuana, cocaine, LSD, and heroin. (Separate subsections of federal law also include PCP, N-phenly-N- [ 1- ( 2-phenylethyl ) -4-piperidinyl ] propanamide, and methamphetamine, but this blog will only cover the common exceptions under both state and federal laws.)

Trafficking in Marijuana

Under both Ohio and federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance.

The penalties for trafficking in marijuana in Ohio include:

Less than the bulk amount:

  • Up to 12 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $2,500 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 200 but less than 1,000 grams:

  • Up to 18 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 1,000 but is less than 20,000 grams:

  • Up to 36 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 20,000 grams:

  • Up to 12 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $15,000 in fines

Under federal law, the penalties for trafficking in marijuana also depend on the amount of the substance involved in the offense.

Below are the punishments that can be levied:

Less than 50 kilograms:

  • Up to 5 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $250,000 in fines

100 grams or more of a mixture containing the substance:

  • Up to 40 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $5,000,000 in fines

1,000 kilograms or more of a mixture containing the substance

  • Up to life imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Trafficking in Cocaine

Cocaine is a Schedule II drug under Ohio and federal law.

The penalties for trafficking cocaine in Ohio include:

Less than the bulk amount:

  • Up to 12 months in prison and/or
  • Up to $2,500 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 5 but is less than 10 grams:

  • Up to 18 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 10 but is less than 20 grams:

  • Up to 36 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 20 but is less than 27 grams:

  • Up to 12 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $15,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 27 grams:

  • Up to 16.5 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $20,000 in fines
  • Designation as a major drug offender (if the quantity equals or exceeds 100 grams)

The federal penalties for cocaine trafficking include the following:

500 grams or more of a mixture containing cocaine or 28 grams or more of a mixture with a cocaine base:

  • Up to 40 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $5,000,000 in fines

5 kilograms or more of a mixture containing the substance, or 280 kilograms or more of a mixture with a cocaine base:

  • Up to life imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $10,000,000 in fines

Trafficking in LSD

Both Ohio and federal law categorize LSD as a Schedule I drug.

Ohio law enumerates the following penalties:

Less than the bulk amount:

  • Up to 12 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $2,500 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 10 but less than 50 unit doses:

  • Up to 18 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 50 but is less than 250 unit doses:

  • Up to 36 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 250 but is less than 1,000 unit doses:

  • Up to 12 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $15,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 1,000 unit doses:

  • Up to 16.5 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $20,000 in fines
  • Designation as a major drug offender (if the quantity equals or exceeds 1,000 unit doses)

Under federal law, trafficking in LSD is punishable as follows:

1 gram or more of a mixture containing the substance:

  • Up to 40 years in prison and/or
  • Up to $5,000,000 in fines

10 grams or more of a mixture containing the substance:

  • Up to life in prison and/or
  • Up to $10,000,000 in fines

Trafficking in Heroin

Heroin is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance under Ohio and Federal law.

State penalties for trafficking in heroin include:

Less than the bulk amount:

  • Up to 12 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $2,500 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 10 but less than 50 unit doses:

  • Up to 18 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 50 but is less than 100 unit doses:

  • Up to 36 months of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 100 but less than 500 unit doses:

  • Up to 12 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $15,000 in fines

Quantity equals or exceeds 500 unit doses:

  • Up to 16.5 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $20,000 in fines
  • Designation as a major drug offender (if the quantity equals or exceeds 100 unit doses)

The federal penalties for trafficking in heroin include:

100 grams or more of a mixture containing the substance:

  • Up to 40 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $5,000,000 in fines

1 kilogram or more of a mixture containing the substance:

  • Up to life imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $10,000,000 in fines

From the information provided in this and the previous blog, you can see that the penalties for drug trafficking are serious. That is why it is crucial to aggressively fight your charge and seek a favorable outcome in your case.

For the legal representation you need in Cleveland, reach out to Patituce & Associates at (440) 709-8088 or by submitting an online contact form.