Federal law makes operating a so-called crack house illegal. However, this can make things complicated for those in New York and New Jersey who want to lawfully open an overdose prevention center.
What is the federal crack house statute?
Under federal statutes, it is illegal to open, lease, rent or maintain a residence where illegal drugs are manufactured, used or distributed. Such locations are referred to colloquially as “crack houses.” The penalty for violating this statute is up to 20 years in prison.
What is an overdose prevention center?
Overdose prevention centers are locations where people can use drugs obtained elsewhere under medical observation. The medical professionals at an overdose prevention center do not give users drugs or handle the drugs in any way. They will step in and help in an overdose situation. They also provide education services, sterile supplies and referrals to social services where users can get help.
Do overdose prevention centers violate the crack house statute?
Overdose prevention centers were implemented as a tool to help fight the opioid overdose problem in the United States. However, some will argue that an overdose prevention center is essentially a crack house where illegal drug use is permitted making it more difficult for police to arrest users.
It can be argued that the “crack house statute” should be repealed or amended to allow for the opening of overdose prevention centers. It remains to be seen if this will happen in any form. In the meantime, if you are accused of violating the crack house statute or other federal drug crime, you will want to seek legal help, as the consequences of conviction are severe and long-lasting.