Cocaine is a controlled substance made from the leaves of the coca plant. It is commonly ground into a powder and injected or smoked. However, controlled substance laws make it illegal and Alaska has stiff penalties for buying, possessing and selling it.
An overview of Alaska’s cocaine laws
Alaska groups controlled substances according to Schedules IA to VIA, which is based on addiction risk. It closely follows federal schedules but the “A” in the title helps distinguish between the state and federal schedules. The main difference between the Alaskan and the federal schedule is that Alaska omits medical use in all groups.
The most addictive drugs are listed under Schedule IA, which includes heroin, LSD and opiates and their derivatives. Substances under Schedule IIA, such as cocaine, peyote and PCP, are still addictive, but thought to be less dangerous. Schedules IIIA to VIA reflect a decrease in addiction risk and includes many prescription drugs, such as anabolic steroids.
Alaska divides felony drug charges into six degrees, with the lower numbers classified as the more serious offenses. Possession commonly gets charged under the third to sixth degrees, and misconduct is charged as a third or fourth-degree felony. Possession of any amount of cocaine comes with penalties of a maximum $50,000 fine and up to five years’ incarceration.
Delivery of any amount of cocaine to someone under 19 and at least three years younger than you can be charged as a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony commonly includes a 5- to 99-year jail sentence and a $500,000 fine. Selling near a drug-free zone and being a repeat offender increase the penalties for all charges.
A drug charge can remain on your record for a long time and make getting jobs and housing difficult. A good defense team may be able to get the defendant a lesser charge or find errors in the case. Sometimes, a low-level offender may qualify for an alternative sentencing program, such as through a Wellness Court.