Americans are suffering. The rates of death due to drug addiction, alcoholism and suicide hit record highs in 2017 -- averaging 72.4 fatalities for every 100,000 people throughout the nation.
The "Drug War" in America has been raging on for decades, and people keep going to jail on possession charges -- despite every indication that jailing people for crimes of addiction is pointless. Even worse, it is increasingly apparent that drug laws are applied unevenly against people of color.
The use of marijuana in many forms -- both medicinally and recreationally -- has gained favor throughout the United States. However, its use is still very limited in Texas.
Texas leaders have reason to celebrate: Nearly a decade after it began, a proposal that is designed to reduce drug crime and empty prisons of repeat offenders has passed the United States Senate.
There are all sorts of ways to get into legal trouble with prescription drugs these days. It's even possible that you may have already committed a drug crime without realizing it.
Texas has been very slow to decriminalize marijuana in any way, even for medicinal purposes. Meanwhile, states as diverse as Alaska, California, Colorado, Michigan and Maine have legalized the drug for recreational use to some degree.
The holidays are here, and that means millions of Americans will be traveling away from their homes in order to visit friends and relatives for a time.
A lot of times, a police investigation starts with nothing more than a simple traffic stop and a few innocent-sounding questions. The next thing a suspect knows, he or she is being hauled away on charges of drug possession or something worse after the officer finds a little marijuana or a few prescription pills in the suspect's car.
One of the top fears many individuals have when accused of criminal offenses here in Texas is fear of facing imprisonment. This is understandable, given the impacts a jail or prison sentence can have on a person’s life and how common of a penalty incarceration is here in Texas.
Since drugs are viewed as a major issue in Longview and across Texas, law enforcement is heavily engaged in trying to catch and arrest those accused of drug possession, drug dealing or drug trafficking. Drug crimes are believed to be the impetus for other criminal acts, so it is no surprise that police and prosecutors are aggressive in seeking convictions.