Walk around the streets of Illinois with a pound of baking flour, and you can be assured that you will not be arrested, but have some (less than an ounce) of cocaine on your person, and the rules severely and drastically change.
Cocaine is derived from the coca bush, which is a plant native to the South of America. Some street names for cocaine include, but are not limited to: “white lady”, “snow”, “nose candy”, “Charlie”, “Big C”, and “star dust”.
Cocaine is usually snorted (via the passages of the nose), but in certain forms, cocaine can be injected and smoked. It creates a feeling of exhilaration and euphoria. It can increase energy levels and make a person feel more alert. A false sense of increased confidence and superiority may also increase, and hallucinations may become evident. These effects are usually detected immediately after cocaine consumption, but will only last a few minutes. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug.
Some negative side-effects associated with cocaine use include, a heightened level of panic, irritability, paranoia, insomnia and anxiety. Headaches, dizziness, muscle twitch, and nausea are also common and unwanted side-effects. An overdose of cocaine can lead to a stroke, heart attack, seizures, convulsions, and bleeding of the brain.
If you are caught with less than 15 grams (.05 of an ounce) of cocaine in Illinois, it is considered a Class 4 felony, and you will become a “guest of the state” and sit in a tiny jail cell for one to three years (first time offenders may be offered a chance to seek drug treatment, in lieu of jail time). In addition, you may be ordered to pay a fine that could be as high as $25,000.
The general population of Illinois exceeds 12 million people, and the law enforcement population exceeds 42 thousand. The population in the state prisons currently exceeds 60 thousand (with another 150 thousand people out on probation).
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug (controlled substance), which is why the state of Illinois takes the punishment of this possession of this drug very seriously. Cocaine does not have to be “on your person” for you to be charged with “possession”. For instance, if you and a “friend” are caught by the police and your “friend” lays their cocaine between the two of you (when the police officer approaches), you can both be charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Due to their geographic location and several infrastructures of transportation, Chicago is a major “hub” of illegal drug distribution, throughout the entire Midwest region. Drug traffickers utilize air couriers, railways, passenger vehicles and commercial trucks, to transport illegal drugs.
It has been documented, that cocaine is a serious problem in Illinois. For instance, over five (5) percent of high school seniors that reside in Illinois use cocaine. Also, almost 60 (sixty) percent of children, born in Illinois, test positive for drugs (specifically cocaine). In addition, the cost of delivery, as well as care for a child that has been exposed to cocaine, is more than $13,000 (which is ten times the cost of delivering and caring for an infant born drug-free).