Penalties attached to most drug-related crimes can quickly become mountainous. When these crimes involve narcotics, the repercussions can become all the more extreme. While New York has worked diligently to address the antiquated elements within its Rockefeller Drug Laws, the penalties can nevertheless be severe, resulting in charges that can affect a person's reputation and overall quality of life.
As of 2015, The New York Post reported that a small number of New Yorkers were still behind bars under strict Rockefeller drug laws. However, The Post remarked on the state's recent efforts to minimize the number of inmates locked up for nonviolent drug crimes. These laws have been critized for the strict ways they handle even small possessions of cocaine or marijuana. Although marijuana left the list of drugs in 1979 -- and reforms made in 2005 and 2009 did away with mandatory minimum sentences for the drug -- some inmates continue to serve time for such charges.
New York, along with the rest of the nation, addresses drug crimes seriously; this is especially so for crimes in which a person brings narcotics into the country. As outlined by the Federation of American Scientists, smuggling substances into the United States can come with a charge of up to $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison. Smuggling goods into foreign countries can come with equally serious penalties. There are additional regulations in regard to proscribing financial transactions with identified foreign narcotics traffickers, which can come with hefty fines and up to 30 years in prison time. While a potential narcotics charge can certainly throw much confusion and worry into a person's world, becoming acquainted with drug laws in the state can make for a more manageable process.