2012 GUIDELINES MANUAL
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).
Statutory Provision: 21 U.S.C. § 844(a). For additional statutory provision(s), see Appendix A (Statutory Index).
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).