Washington D.C. prosecutors are weighing support for the city’s bid to increase PCP drug possession charges to felony charges under the pretext that violent psychosis caused by the drug warrants the increase of punishment. Based on a recent article, defense lawyers argue that possession of the drug without intent to sell should not garner long-term prison sentences.
Phencyclidine, a chemical substance commonly known as PCP, has been blamed for causing numerous violent rampages in Washington D.C. According to the District’s Pretrial Service Agency, nine percent of adults arrested in the District last year tested positive for the drug. The drug is known to cause paranoid thoughts, feelings of abnormal power, invulnerability and strength as well as panic and a sense of impending death.
Should the bid succeed, liquid PCP drug possession offenders will be punished with up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine on top of having a felony charge on their records. Defense attorneys rally that harsher penalties will result in more incarcerations, something many local governments are against.