State and federal drug crime laws prohibit the manufacture, possession and sale of controlled substances, some of which are prescription medications when used without a prescription.
Some states have drug laws that differ from a federal laws. This can make the legality of certain substances different, depending on whether or not it is a state or federal authority that is questioning your involvement with a particular substance. One example of this is marijuana. Marijuan is illegal at the federal level but there are many states that have legalized marijuan for medical and/or recreational purposes. A federal agency may still get involved with a substance that is illegal by their standards even though the substance is legal in the state where it is located.
Regardless of whether or not it is a state or federal agency, being charged with possession, the intent to sell, or manufacturing an illegal drug, or a legal drug for illegal use (i.e. a prescription medication without a prescription) is a crime. A drug crimes attorney may be able to help protect your rights and hopefully to avoid a conviction and having to spend time in jail.
Federal vs State Drug Crimes
The federal government and state governments each have their own strategies and laws to prevent the use, abuse, manufacture, and distribution of illegal controlled substances. There is an intersection between state and federal laws as they relate to controlled substances.
One difference between federal and state drug crimes is that federal drug charges tend to carry harsher punishments, longer jail sentences, and are often charged as felonies. If a person is charged by a state for possession without the intent to distribute, they can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor but there is a good chance that they will given a lighter sentence than if they were charged for this in a federal court.
One of the more common federal drug crimes is drug trafficking, especially when it is across state borders. One of the more common state drug crimes is possession. There are different factors that play into whether a person is charged with drug crimes at the state or federal level. A primary one is the amount of the controlled substance in question.
A person can be charged with various drug crimes including manufacturing, cultivating, trafficking, and distribution at either the state or federal level.