Drugs and Narcotics laws have tried to keep up with the changing perceptions and real dangers of substance abuse. By 1970, over 55 federal drug laws and countless state laws specified a variety of punitive measures, including life imprisonment and even the death penalty. To clarify the situation, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 repealed, replaced, or updated all previous federal laws concerned with narcotics and all other dangerous drugs.
Most states have laws that give different treatment to possession of different categories of drugs (i.e. prescription drugs, marijuana, crystal methamphetamine), and also make a distinction in the offense charged as to whether a small amount of the drug was found with the defendant (personal use) or a larger amount (intent to sell or distribute, trafficking). A conviction on a drug charge of any magnitude, even a small amount of marijuana, can seriously affect your present and future employment chances, your education, your reputation and your freedom.