According to the Oklahoma Policy Institute, several 2018 senate bills lowering sentences for drug-related crimes led to a 23% reduction in state prisoners. Regardless of this improvement, drug offenses in Oklahoma still carry harsh consequences.
Penalties vary in severity based on the specific type of drug charges a defendant faces.
Possession of controlled substances
Consequences for possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription can differ depending on the amount involved and the way the US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies the substance. They range from fines of $1,000 to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to one year for first-time offenders.
Possession with intent to distribute
Having a large quantity of a substance can lead to a charge of possession with intent to distribute, even if the drugs are for an individual’s personal use. Penalties include fines ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 and imprisonment for up to life in prison.
Trafficking and distribution
The most serious drug offenses in Oklahoma are drug trafficking and distribution. For instance, trafficking 25 pounds or more of marijuana carries a minimum sentence of four years in prison and a fine of $25,000.
Penalties for manufacturing drugs, such as methamphetamine or cocaine, vary based on the type and quantity of drugs involved. Besides fines and imprisonment, a conviction may also result in federal felony charges.
Drug paraphernalia possession
Possessing drug paraphernalia, such as pipes or syringes, can also result in criminal charges, even without the presence of drugs. Punishment may include fines of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to one year.
Many courts consider drug offenses that involve firearms or take place near schools to be more serious. In such cases, some judges will impose enhanced penalties, which can significantly increase fines and prison sentences.