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The dangers of carrying a friend’s prescription

Prescription drugs are legal. There's a catch, though, they are only legal when you are the one who holds the prescription. It must be current, and it must in your name.

This rule often trips people up. The drugs feel legal in the same way that over-the-counter medications are legal -- mild painkillers and the like. It's easy to assume that you can use them the same way. This leads to things like sharing drugs or even selling them to people who want them if you don't need them anymore.

That's illegal on both ends. If you buy or sell prescription drugs outside of the confines of that prescription, you break the law. Even if you don't sell them, but you just take them and use them for free, or if you give away medication that you own, that also breaks the law.

Remember, the law is not designed only to prevent sales and eliminate a black market. It's designed to keep people from using medications without permission from a doctor. The drugs and medications are heavily controlled. They can be used within that framework, but not in any other way. Outside of it, they're just as illegal as something like heroin or cocaine.

Carrying someone else's prescription

Is this rule going to get you into legal trouble? It can, even if you don't intend to break the law. Remember that inadvertently doing something illegal does not mean, in most cases, that what you've done isn't illegal. It can change the situation a bit since there is no intent to do anything further -- like intent to sell -- but you likely still broke the law.

Say that you have a friend with a prescription medication. They ask you to carry it for them while you're all out together, as they don't have room. If you get caught with it, are the authorities going to assume you bought it illegally? Will they think your friend gave it to you to use? You could find yourself accused of involvement in a drug deal, whether it really happened or not.

You could also get accused of possession of a controlled substance. You can argue that it wasn't yours or that you were just holding it for someone else, but, in the eyes of the law, you still possessed an illegal drug. That's often all it takes to lead to an arrest.

Your rights

If you do find yourself facing drug-related charges, make sure you are well aware of all of the legal options you have.

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