Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

Narcotic Drugs

Category Crime, Evidence
Words 606 (3 pages)
Views 24

In this paper I will discuss the details the classification of narcotic drugs in criminal law, forensic evidence needed to obtain a conviction in a drug case. The term narcotic implies a state of lethargy or sluggishness. Pharmacologists classify narcotic drugs as substance that bring relief from pain and produce sleep. Unfortunately narcotic has come to be popularly associated with any drugs that is socially unacceptable, as a consequence of this incorrect usage many drug are improperly call narcotics.

Most drug laws in the United States incorrectly designated marijuana as a narcotic; even now many drug controlled laws in the United States including federal law, classify cocaine as a narcotic drug (Saferstein 2011, p193). A large number of drug users are in daily contact with a range of criminal justice organizations. The police enforce laws relating to illegal drugs and unlawful activities that surround drug use. It is important to recognize that relationship between drug and crime are unclear.

Drug use leads to crime; second crimes leads to drug use and third drugs and crime are related to social force (Hughes, p, 75, 2006). When a forensic chemist picks up a drug specimen for analysis, he or she can expect to find just about anything, so all contingencies must be prepared for. The analysis must leave no room for error because its results will have a direct bearing on the process of determine the guilt or innocence of a defendant.

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There is no middle ground in drug identification either the specimen is a specific drug or its not and once a positive conclusion is drawn, the chemist must prepared to support and define the validity of the results in the court of law (Saferstein 2011, p204). When someone is accused of a crime involving drugs, more than likely the drugs were taken from their person or property will go from hand to hand as they are processed, analyzed, stored, and sent to the courtroom as evidence.

Every time a change of hands occurs, it must be documented to ensure that the evidence was not tampered with or handled negligently. The process that evidence goes through from the time it is seized to the time it reaches the courtroom is called the “chain of custody. Implementing chain of custody is necessary it’s the start of the foundation of the evidence in question, by showing the absence of alteration, substitution, or change of condition.

Specifically, foundation testimony for tangible evidence requires that exhibits be identified as being in substantially the same condition as they were at the time the evidence was seized, and that the exhibit has remained in that condition through an unbroken chain of custody. For example, suppose that in a prosecution for possession of illegal narcotics, police sergeant A recovers drugs from the defendant; A gives police officer B the drugs; B then gives the drugs to police scientist C, who conducts an analysis of the drugs; C gives the drugs to police detective D, who brings the drugs to court.

The testimony of A, B, C, and D constitute a "chain of custody" for the drugs, and the prosecution would need to offer testimony by each person in the chain to establish both the condition and identification of the evidence, unless the defendant stipulated as to the chain of custody in order to save time. Conclusion: Narcotic drugs will forever be around. It’s a complex problem throughout society. It affects people from the newborn stage to old age. Narcotic drugs, takes an enormous toll on lives and communities, especially in developing countries and its contribution to the overall burden and will to increase in the future.

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