The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates represent clients on a variety of drug crimes prosecuted in the City of Baltimore and the surrounding areas in the State of Maryland.
The types of drugs commonly involved in prosecutions include:
- Ecstasy (MDMA) is similar to the stimulant Amphetamine and the hallucinogen Mescaline. Effects last from 3-6 hours. Confusion, depression, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and paranoia have been reported even weeks after the drug is taken. Also, MDMA may cause increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure. MDMA can lead to dehydration, hypertension, heart and/or kidney failure. In high doses, decreased body temperature causes muscle breakdown, kidney and cardiovascular failure, and possible death. MDMA use has resulted in heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and fatalities.
- GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) can be a clear liquid, white powder, or in capsule form. Overdosing on GHB (also called the date rape drug) can occur easily due to the inconsistency in manufactures (street labs and home “cooking” kitchens). GHB directly attacks the central nervous system, sedating the body. GHB use may cause drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, headache, loss of consciousness, impaired breathing, coma, and possible death.
- Ruffies (Rohypnol) is a benzodiazepine (such as Valium, Halcyon, Xanax) which is about 10 times more potent than Valium. Rohypnol is flavorless and odorless. Users crush the pills and snort the powder, sprinkle it on marijuana and smoke it, dissolve it in a drink or inject it. Because it is virtually undetectable in beverages it has been used to commit sexual assault, giving it the reputation of the “date rape” drug. The sedative and toxic effects can impair the user for up to 12 hours. Rohypnol use may cause profound amnesia and confusion. (Rohypnol is sometimes referred to as the forget-me-not drug). Adverse side effects include decreased blood pressure, visual disturbances, confusion, amnesia, liver/kidney damage, and possible death.
- Special K (Ketamine) in its injectable form is an anesthetic that was developed for use in veterinarian medicine. When in its liquid or powdered form, Ketamine, is commonly used in combination with marijuana or tobacco products. Ketamine use may cause amnesia, impaired motor functions, high blood pressure, depression, and fatal respiratory problems. At the very least, Ketamine use will cause impaired attention and decreased concentration.
- Depressants/Sedative/Hypnotics – These drugs interact with the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to depress cognitive activities. They include sedatives (used to make a person calm or drowsy) and tranquilizers (intended to reduce tension and anxiety). Sometimes called “downers” or “benzos” (short for benzodiazepine) these drugs come in tablet, capsule or liquid form. Some drugs in this category are: Xanax, Valium, Halcion, Librium, Ativan, Klonopin, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Seconal, Phenobarbital, Amytal, and Haldo.
- Hashish – Hashish is produced from the THC-rich secretions of the Cannabis plant (marijuana plant). Hashish is the resinous substance taken from the tops of female plants, which contains the highest concentration of THC. “Hash” is usually sold in balls or cakes. Most commonly used by smoking (pipe, bong) or ingesting (eating foods containing hash).
- Inhalants – Common inhalants include some types of model cement, cooking sprays, hair spray, deodorant, liquid paper, aerosol sprays, paint, paint thinner, gasoline, and solvents. Inhalants are used by spraying or pouring the substance on a rag and the vapors (fumes) inhaled. This induces a short-lived, light-headed euphoric state in the abuser.
- Marijuana – Next to tobacco and alcohol, marijuana is the most popular chemical substance chosen for regular use. Marijuana comes from the Hemp plant and its content of THC found in the leaves and flowering shoots of the plant. Most commonly used by smoking (joint, pipe, bong) or ingestion (eating foods containing marijuana, example-brownies). Marijuana effects the central nervous system and gives the user a false sense of euphoria, relaxation, and increased visual, auditory, and taste perceptions. In actuality, the marijuana diminishes coordination, visual tracking, and loss of energy. Some users experience paranoia, delirium, and hallucinations.
- LSD – LSD is a synthetic psychotropic, or mind-altering, drug. Due to its extremely high potency, LSD users may be “high” anywhere from 4-14 hours on one dose. LSD is usually sold in the following forms: liquid (small, glass vials); thin squares of gelatin (“hits”), referred to as “windowpane”; small square pieces of paper–commonly referred to as “blotter” acid.
- Heroin – Heroin, a semi-synthetic opium, is derived from morphine. Heroin is smoked, inhaled, or injected by the abuser.
- Methamphetamines (Crystal Meth) – Methamphetamines are highly addictive man-made chemical stimulants. The street versions of these compounds are cooked up in clandestine “kitchens” using a variety of hazardous and volatile chemicals. These stimulants can be inhaled, smoked, and injected by the abuser.
- Mushrooms – Psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms are found in a variety of environments and, like Peyote, produce similar effects as LSD but not quite to the same degree. The mushrooms are usually ingested but may be dried and smoked.
- Narcotics – Though commonly used to refer to all drugs—narcotics are those drugs which are derived from opium (derivatives or synthetics). Commonly encountered narcotics include: Opium, morphine, codeine, heroin, Dilaudid, Demerol, Percodan, methadone, and Darvon.
- Opioids – The most powerful prescription painkillers are opioids, which are made to react on the nervous system the same way as opium, morphine (a powerful painkiller that is highly addictive) or heroin. These medications include oxycodone, hydrocodone, and mepreridine. The common brand names are Oxycontin, Percocet, Roxicet, Roxiprin, Vicodin, Dilaudid, etc.
- Opium – Opium is harvest from unripe seed pods of the Poppy plant. Opium can either be injected in its raw form (gum-like) or smoked. PCP (Angel Dust) Phencyclidine, commonly referred to as PCP or Angel Dust, is considered to be the most unpredictable drug on the street because of its effect of the user. PCP can be found in liquid (most toxic), gum, or powdered form. Liquid PCP is often applied to cigarettes as a means of ingestion. In powder form, PCP is commonly mixed with marijuana and smoked. PCP is often masqueraded as LSD or THC. The gum form of PCP may vary in color from a light tan to a dark brown/black.
- Prescription Drugs – Prescription drug abuse is a modern-day plague with estimates of up to six million Americans have or currently abuse prescription medications. Many prescription drug addicts legitimize their use because of “doctor’s orders”. It is not uncommon for these abusers to exhibit drug seeking behaviors–going to several doctors, emergency rooms, and/or clinics reporting lost or stolen prescriptions, increased pain, etc in an effort to obtain their drug. For those addicts in the medical field or with access to prescription medications, stealing medications or self-prescribing medications is not uncommon. Many prescription addicts use multiple pharmacies to hide the amount and frequency of their use. Signs and symptoms of prescription addiction vary due to the different types of medications (hypnotic, sedative, amphetamine, etc). The most commonly abused prescription drugs are pain killers, depressants, stimulants, and antidepressants.