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The dangers of carrying a friend’s prescription medication

People do a lot of things for their friends without really thinking about the consequences. That could include a favor such as carrying or storing prescription medication for someone else. Maybe your friend has a roommate or spouse that they worry will steal their pills. It's also possible that they are trying to wean themselves off the medication and want to limit their access to it.

Regardless of why someone asks you to store their prescription medication, the truth is that their request places you at extreme legal risk. There is serious potential for legal consequences if you get caught in possession of your friend's medication. Minnesota law has very strict rules regarding controlled substances.

Only medical professionals and prescription holders can possess certain drugs

Controlled substances, including prescription medications and narcotic painkillers, are not legal for possession by the general public. You cannot just have oxycodone in your home unless a doctor has written a valid prescription for that medication to you.

Just the possession of prescription medication can result in serious criminal charges. The greater the overall weight of the drugs, the higher the potential penalties for the charges. Minnesota law is very clear that controlled substances have to be handled with care and respect. As little as two ounces of medication could mean first degree controlled substances charges. Individuals should keep addictive and narcotic medications in a safe place that isn't accessible to other people.

Storing medication at a friend's house is not a safe or legal option. Instead, it creates legal liability for the individual who agrees to store the medication. The only person with the legal right to possess narcotics and other prescribed drugs is the person whose name is on the prescription label and the doctor or pharmacist who dispenses the medication.

Law enforcement have already heard the excuse of storing it for a friend

You might imagine that keeping the pills in their prescription bottle will help you if you somehow get caught with these drugs. After all, you can simply explain to law enforcement that you are doing a favor for a friend.

In reality, law enforcement officers, prosecutors and court officials will have likely heard similar stories from defendants in the past. Individuals with addiction issues or those who illegally sell drugs will often say just about anything that they can to avoid criminal charges.

Claiming that the medication does not belong to them is one such tactic. As a result, even if you tell officers the truth about how you came to possess the medication, they will likely still arrest you and charge you with a crime.

If you have already found yourself in legal trouble because you offered to help a friend out, you need to take steps to protect yourself. Speaking with Minnesota defense lawyer who understands prescription medication and controlled substances laws can help you build a defense against the pending charges you face.

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Joseph S. Friedberg Chartered
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Minneapolis, MN 55415

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