Loudoun County’s War on Drugs
Even though some people say that the “war on drugs” occurred in the 1980s with President Ronald Reagan and then successor President George H.W. Bush, the battle is alive and well in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2015. In Loudoun County and other counties in Northern Virginia, a wide variety of drug cases are prosecuted very aggressively.
One of the main reasons why drug cases are prosecuted aggressively is because drugs are viewed as a danger to society and to young people especially. Prosecutors believe it is their responsibility to protect society from drug users, to keep drug distribution out of our communities, keep drugs out of our schools, and to keep young people and adults safe from the devastating effects of drug abuse.
How Different Drugs Are Prosecuted
Certain drugs are prosecuted more vigorously than others. For example, it is widely covered in the news today that there is a heroin epidemic in the United States. Several years ago, prescription drugs such as Oxycontin and Oxycodone were all over the headlines, today it is heroin. Heroin charges are prosecuted very aggressively especially against the alleged distributors and local dealers of the drug.
It is such a dangerous drug. People from all walks of life are dying daily as a result of overdose of this drug and the addiction and relapse rates are extraordinarily high. So although all drug charges are prosecuted very aggressively, heroin is certainly one of the most aggressively prosecuted in Loudoun County.
Another drug that should be discussed is marijuana. Our neighbors to the north, DC and Maryland, have decriminalized marijuana to a large extent. However, there are no laws in the books in Virginia that are similar to those in DC and Maryland regarding personal use or making small amounts of civil violation. In Virginia, simple possession is an unclassified misdemeanor for a first offense, class 1 misdemeanor for any subsequent offense and possession with intent to distribute marijuana of over ½ ounce can still be a felony offense. So marijuana offenses can get very serious very fast. That is different from some of the other surrounding states.
How Is Loudoun County Cracking Down on Drugs?
Law enforcement officers have been cracking down in Loudoun County with an aggressive use of checkpoints on the roads and an aggressive use of police resources for the purpose of conducting campaigns against drug distribution. There is also an increased use of Undercover Informants and Confidential Informants. Undercover Officers – known as UCs – and Confidential Informants – CIs – purchase controlled buys and attempt to infiltrate drug networks. These are some of the ways that they really continue to aggressively prosecute and investigate drug offenses.