Today's Miami Herald features an editorial that sums up why South Florida has become a popular destination for out-of-state visitors seeking oxycodone.
In South Florida there are approximately 183 pain clinics, or "pill mills" as they are crudely called.
But why here?
Florida's laws regarding prescription narcotics were once considered lenient, however until the current administration began cracking down on suspected pill mills.
But until the laws began to change, South Florida was considered by many to have a "laid back" attitude regarding the fraudulent obtaining of prescriptions.
I couldn't disagree more. Florida has some of the toughest drug trafficking laws in the country, including a 25-year mandatory minimum prison term for anybody charged with trafficking in 28 grams or more of oxycodone (OxyContin).
The Herald's editorial thinks that pain clinics "thrive in Broward because they can exploit the area's large number of retired doctors" who operate these pain clinics and issue prescriptions.
It is my belief that trafficking in oxycodone is one of the worst charges that you can face in the State of Florida. The mandatory sentencing provisions do not allow the judges to exercise discretion. Only the State Attorney can waive the mandatory minimums. That means that if you are found guilty of trafficking in oxycodone, you will be sentenced to mandatory prison time.
Mandatory sentences can be waived, however. It takes a keen eye to recognize illegal action on behalf of the police who arrested you, such as an unlawful search and seizure or a defective search warrant.