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Do not share your prescription drugs

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2020 | Criminal Law |

Did you know that prescription drug sharing is illegal? To some, this certainly comes as a surprise. They don’t think of these drugs as “illegal” since they got them from the doctor. But, for anyone but the person with that prescription, that’s exactly what they are.

Often, the sharing is not nefarious or an excuse for drug dealing and making drug sales. It’s just one person trying to help out a friend or a family member. They could have leftover painkillers after surgery, for instance, and offer them to someone else who is having serious pain but who has not yet gone to the doctor. They don’t even think about the legality of it. They just think it makes sense to help someone who needs it.  

But, noble intentions or otherwise, this type of sharing is illegal. The person who gives the drugs or medications away can face significant charges, as can the person who then possesses or uses those drugs without a prescription.  

Why is this illegal? The issue is that prescription drugs are still controlled substances. Those laws have to be followed. Some are highly addictive — like opioids — so the authorities know that these drugs change hands illegally all the time. They’re not going to put much stock in someone who says they were just innocently sharing.

You could also consider something like marijuana. It’s legal for medical use in Louisiana, but it’s illegal for recreational use. When someone with a medical marijuana card picks their stash up, they can’t share it with anyone else. It’s not just the initial exchange — i.e., going to the dispensary and buying marijuana or going to the pharmacy to pick up painkillers — that is governed by the law. Every use of that drug or medication after that point is also governed by these laws and they must be followed.  

Has an innocent mistake landed you in legal trouble? If so, make sure you are well aware of the defense options you have.