CHAPTER TWO - OFFENSE CONDUCT


PART D - OFFENSES INVOLVING DRUGS AND NARCO-TERRORISM


2.      UNLAWFUL POSSESSION


§2D2.1.     Unlawful Possession; Attempt or Conspiracy 

(a)      Base Offense Level:

(1)       8, if the substance is heroin or any Schedule I or II opiate, an analogue of these, or cocaine base; or

(2)       6, if the substance is cocaine, flunitrazepam, LSD, or PCP; or

(3)       4, if the substance is any other controlled substance or a list I chemical.

(b)      Cross Reference

(1)       If the offense involved possession of a controlled substance in a prison, correctional facility, or detention facility, apply §2P1.2 (Providing or Possessing Contraband in Prison).


Commentary

Statutory Provision:  21 U.S.C. § 844(a).  For additional statutory provision(s), see Appendix A (Statutory Index).

Application Note:

1.      The typical case addressed by this guideline involves possession of a controlled substance by the defendant for the defendant's own consumption.  Where the circumstances establish intended consumption by a person other than the defendant, an upward departure may be warranted.

Background:  Mandatory (statutory) minimum penalties for several categories of cases, ranging from fifteen days' to three years' imprisonment, are set forth in 21 U.S.C. § 844(a).  When a mandatory minimum penalty exceeds the guideline range, the mandatory minimum becomes the guideline sentence.  See §5G1.1(b).  Note, however, that 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f) provides an exception to the applicability of mandatory minimum sentences in certain cases.  See §5C1.2 (Limitation on Applicability of Statutory Minimum Sentences in Certain Cases).

Historical Note:  Effective November 1, 1987.  Amended effective January 15, 1988 (see Appendix C, amendment 24); November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 304); November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 321); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 447); September 23, 1994 (see Appendix C, amendment 509); November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 514); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendments 556 and 558); November 1, 2010 (see Appendix C, amendments 746 and 748); November 1, 2011 (see Appendix C, amendment 750).