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What teens should know about drug laws

Teenagers in South Carolina who share pills or other controlled substances with their friends could be labeled as drug dealers. If a person overdoses on a substance that a teen provides, that teenager could be charged with homicide. This is true whether the substances were given away freely or sold. In many cases, teenagers get drugs from friends who have access to them or by taking medication belonging to a parent or grandparent.

When a teen wants to buy a controlled substance, they will often pool money together with their friends to do so. According to a poll of high school students, 24 percent of respondents admitted to taking marijuana in the past year. Overall, the United States is the world's second-biggest consumer of cannabis.

There are many steps that parents can take to ensure that their children do not experience negative consequences related to selling or using drugs. For starters, can choose to have their children drug tested either at home or by the child's doctor. Parents should also let their kids know what the law has to say about selling or sharing drugs with their friends. Furthermore, it can be a good idea to ask about starting a drug awareness program at school. If a child is using, a talk with a former user could be a good experience for the teen.

There are serious consequences for those who use, sell or distribute drugs like marijuana or prescription pills. In some cases, it may be possible to spend years or decades in prison. Other drug crime penalties may include fines, probation or community service. An attorney could negotiate a plea deal that allows a person to take part in a drug diversion or similar type of program.

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