View Full Version : Is it illegal to keep my Adderall in a weekly pill box instead of the bottle?


ADDinIllinois
01-21-09, 07:52 PM
Is it illegal to possess Adderall without the prescription bottle if you do legitimately have a prescription?

I have a prescription for Adderall and am taking my medication as prescribed. I am also on Prozac and Lamictal. I do a weekly medication box for myself to throw in my purse. This way I know for sure if I took my medication. If for some crazy reason the police looked in my purse, would I be in trouble for having a controlled substance? Should I carry around proof that I have a prescription? Does the Adderall have to stay in the prescription bottle? I'm in Illinois, and all the searches I've done deal with people who did not have prescriptions. I'm just wondering if I'm unintentionally doing something illegal.

Driver
01-21-09, 08:13 PM
I'm not sure if it's illegal, but it could make your life easier if they can see the original bottle with the pharmacists label etc on there.

pADDyjay
01-21-09, 09:10 PM
:)as long as you can verify that you have a valid script

there should be no problem...Im not an legal expert

but I my understanding is its only illegal to sell or give it to somebody:)

cwonderig
01-21-09, 10:37 PM
Just to be on the safe side, I take the label from the bottle or a portion of the info sheet I get and put it in my wallet.

Tominal
01-22-09, 04:22 PM
I'm no expert on Illinois law, but I suspect that it is technically illegal. I also suspect this is one of the many areas of law where one can expect "selective enforcement."

For example, if a police officer pulled a lady over for driving crazy and when she went in her purse for her drivers' license the policeman saw a container with a bunch of different pills in plain view, and if further examination revealed a pile of oxy's, a pile of xanax, and a pile of adderall then there would probably be an arrest for possession (or possession with intent, depeding on quantity). The ADA might drop it later if she came forward later showing valid prescriptions for each, but I don't know that he would have to--the charge could stick.

If the same policeman pulled grandma over to warn her because her right turn signal was blinking non-stop, he's not likely to pay the slightest attentoin to grandma's pill container, and if he did, the ADA would almost certainly decline to prosecute.

To be on the totally safe side, either keep the scheduled meds in an original bottle, or check with the police drug unit, the district attorney's office or a private attorney. I know that some people who use these pillminders will keep copies of the receipts from the drugstore with the prescription information on their person, or attached to the pill box. I'm not sure that this practice will absolutely absolve you from a technical violation of the law either, but it sure wouldn't hurt.

mijahe
01-22-09, 04:52 PM
Just an idea....

Save up your bottles, (which will have your prescription details on them), and write on the top the day of the week. I know 7 large bottles are a lot to carry around, but when asked about it. You'll have all your details there. And you can explain why you did what you did.

Another one.. I know pharmacies in Australia can automatically dispense tablets into 7 day containers for you. Complete with proper labeling. Ask yours if they can do that for you.

xraylady33
01-23-09, 05:19 PM
NEVER travel without the original RX bottle! EVER!

If you are stopped, for any reason...ie. traffic violation and the officer visualizes the meds. you will need to show ownership, and just cause.

If the box is in your home, no worries!
Always keep one bottle to show ownership.

PHEW>>>>

TygerSan
01-23-09, 06:31 PM
f you are stopped, for any reason...ie. traffic violation and the officer visualizes the meds. you will need to show ownership, and just cause.


Would it be enough to have the pill-bottle label or copy of filled prescription taped to the outside of the pill-box?

xraylady33
01-23-09, 06:47 PM
Hmmmm...
Usually the description of the med. is on the bottle. So, this may be ok.

Check your local government page...

.......gov/prescriptions and your legal ramifications.

mammalspod
01-23-09, 08:02 PM
When I got my prescription at Target they gave me two extra labels just like the one stuck to the bottle. I didn't know why they did this but now that you brought this up I guess it might be for when you have it in a different container. Ask your pharmacy to do this, I don't think it has to be in the original bottle if you carry this around. Obviously it has your name on it and everything.

mammalspod
01-23-09, 08:05 PM
Also, I strongly disagree that carrying it around without the bottle would technically be illegal. Imagine the scene, you in a courtroom getting a fine and sentenced to community service for having a pill that is prescribed to you. If this has ever happened in the states, let me know and I'll post a picture of myself on this site with a carrot shoved up my ***.

Mincan
01-24-09, 04:57 AM
Do you have Automatic Obedience Disorder?

Wouldn't worry about it, first thing I do when I get home is remove the labels.

ecu20
01-24-09, 08:17 AM
Carrying around a medication LEGALLY prescribed to you regardless of container is NOT illegal. It may cause a huge PITA should you get stopped, but if one explains the situation of leaving bottles at home, I could hardly imagine a police officer could or WOULD even attempting to charge you with ANYTHING.

For all the nay sayers, mind quoting a bit of law so I can see where in the law books you're looking? :)

~boots~
01-24-09, 08:24 AM
I carry my meds to work in a small pocket purse. I always leave an empty bottle with the label on it in the boot of my car just in case.

I hate taking the bottle with me in my pocket because it rattles and annoys me.
Where I work we should only take the prescribed amount in each day, and they actually recommend we take all medications in a small container, like a pill box, and they didn't seem to worry about the original packaging. I keep it just in case :)

Driver
01-24-09, 08:53 AM
they didn't seem to worry about the original packaging. I keep it just in case :)

That's because in Australia, Medicare knows which PBS meds you take.

~boots~
01-24-09, 09:32 AM
That's because in Australia, Medicare knows which PBS meds you take.

true, but my employer doesn't, (well, the people checking my bag don't) and they'd have to ask my doc, and that's not exactly an easy task..

mijahe
01-25-09, 05:38 PM
I think when it comes down to it, (and really should be the same elsewhere): In Australia if you were pulled over and the police saw a pack of Ritalin on your dash, (stupid place to have it really).
They probably would either: A) Assume that they're for you, and ignore it. B) Check just in case and ask for your license for proof and check the label. Then tell you to stop putting it in a stupid place.

... Actually there is another option. If you were driving around in a hotted up Commodore, with loud hip hop blaring, 3 mates hanging out the side, clutching tinnies.... then yes... they'd do more than just stop you.

So, depends on circumstances. Depends on location. Depends on who you are.

So, if you have a valid prescription, then you don't really have anything to worry about. It may require a bit of explaining, and it may require you to go back to the police station. But I really don't see it going any further than that.

I wouldn't worry....

Just don't put it on your dash. :D

chowmix
01-25-09, 08:16 PM
When I travel I carry photos of my medicine bottles clearly showing my name, prescription, doctor, etc. I carry my actual meds in 7 day containers. I keep both on my person if there are any questions.

Gives me piece of mind.

ColinADD
01-25-09, 09:10 PM
Although you're not doing anything illegal, depending on the type of person the Cop who caught you with it is could technically Arrest you for not carrying your prescription around in the marked container. I doubt you would be found guilty in the courts for walking around with a Schedule II drug when it's prescribed to you though. But if you don't even want to take the chance of being arrested for something as trivial as that, carry the pills in their proper containers. They cant do anything if you have them in the bottle.

ecu20
01-26-09, 03:39 AM
could technically Arrest you for not carrying your prescription around in the marked container.

What law would he arrest you under again? Possession of a controlled substance? You at most would be DETAINED under suspicion at most, not arrested. Once your story checks out away you go. And i'm stressing again this is the absolute WORST case scenario. Colin, you seemed to have missed the lecture that if you treat someone with respect and are peaceful, 99.9% of the cops you will encounter will *gasp* treat you respectfully, and give you a chance to explain why you have medication on your person.

ColinADD
01-26-09, 03:56 AM
What law would he arrest you under again? Possession of a controlled substance? You at most would be DETAINED under suspicion at most, not arrested. Once your story checks out away you go. And i'm stressing again this is the absolute WORST case scenario. Colin, you seemed to have missed the lecture that if you treat someone with respect and are peaceful, 99.9% of the cops you will encounter will *gasp* treat you respectfully, and give you a chance to explain why you have medication on your person.

Um...If you're walking around with a Schedule II drug and you don't have proof that you're prescribed it for medical reasons; DEPENDING on what kind of person he is you can get put into custody. Some Cops dont like to bend the rules at all while some cops are respectable and understanding. I gave them the idea of the "WORST" case scenario so that they would have the understanding that it's better to be safe then sorry... it's as simple as that. I hope I clarified my intent for you, Ecu20.

ecu20
01-26-09, 04:54 AM
Um...If you're walking around with a Schedule II drug and you don't have proof that you're prescribed it for medical reasons; DEPENDING on what kind of person he is you can get put into custody. Some Cops dont like to bend the rules at all while some cops are respectable and understanding. I gave them the idea of the "WORST" case scenario so that they would have the understanding that it's better to be safe then sorry... it's as simple as that. I hope I clarified my intent for you, Ecu20.

Chapter 90 for NC laws:

90‑101. Annual registration and fee to engage in listed activities with controlled substances; effect of registration; exceptions; waiver; inspection.
...
(c) (3) The following persons shall not be required to register and may lawfully possess controlled substances under the provisions of this Article: An ultimate user or a person in possession of any controlled substance pursuant to a lawful order of a practitioner;
...

mijahe
01-26-09, 05:19 AM
Moderator Note:
I don't usually cut potentially heated discussions off at the pass, but I will this time.

Please remember the ADDF guidelines (http://www.addforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=75), and keep heated discussion, just heated discussion and let it not venture into the realms of fire pits, etc, etc.

Thank you.....

ecu20
01-26-09, 05:24 PM
mijahe: Sorry about that one, just got a tad carried away responding. :o

It's all good. :)

ecu20
01-27-09, 01:00 AM
Ok an update-

I spoke to a high up Judge in my neck of the woods, and inquired about the legality of carrying Schedule II drugs in pillboxes.

He stated that technically you CAN be arrested for this, since there is not proper labeling on pill boxes (the officer can be "acting in good faith"). However, he stated that when brought up on the charges, a simple indicator of your legal right to possess the substance would quickly dismiss charges brought up against you. Anything from the pharmacy pill bottle, Dr. letter, script copy, insurance receipt, insurance statement, ETC. would be accepted as evidence of your legal right to possess. And as said, after that, charges would be quickly dismissed (worst case scenario).

The only charges which could be brought up against you (grounds for arrest) would be 1 of 2: possession of a controlled substance, or possession of an illicit substance. You would not be charged with the crime if you are able to provide evidence that you are legally prescribed the drug.

Just an update :)

ColinADD
01-27-09, 01:04 AM
Thats what I was trying to get at, and thats why I said you should just carry the pills in the prescription bottle so you would never have to deal with the possibility of the police hassling you if you got without them in the proper bottle. It's more of nuisance for someone to deal with then illegal but still not worth the time when it can be easily avoided.

fxfake
01-27-09, 01:24 AM
The only charges which could be brought up against you (grounds for arrest) would be 1 of 2: possession of a controlled substance, or possession of an illicit substance. You would not be charged with the crime if you are able to provide evidence that you are legally prescribed the drug.

That's not true in Florida. You can be CONVICTED of possession of a controlled substance and get a 25-year prison term (http://www.reason.com/blog/show/121630.html) for carrying a legitimately prescribed C-III. The guy in question got lucky, had the conviction overturned, and was freed after over 2 years. It's not over yet; he's being retried (or was in 2007). All he lost was over 2 years of his life, two condos, and his car.

The prescription was NOT a defense; it could be introduced at trial. Florida law did (does?) not allow a "prescription defense," at least for C-III opiates. The moment you walk out of the pharmacy you are committing a felony.

I guess the pill container label would not have helped this guy.

fxfake
01-27-09, 01:56 AM
The prescription was NOT a defense; it could be introduced at trial.

Sorry, that should be "it could not be introduced at trial."

Well, it shouldn't be, but that's the way it is. :(

mammalspod
01-27-09, 02:21 AM
The Florida incident cited is not relevent to our situation since the article clearly says that the reason he was charged was because the amount of pills he was carrying around was over a state law limit. This case was in the 80's and I strongly doubt that law exists anymore. So again, someone post a viable article of someone being charged with a crime for carrying around prescription pills that were LEGALLY prescribed to them and I will take the carrot challenge. This does not include laws restricting the amount of pills you can carry around, obvious cases of doctor shopping, outdated cases, cases of obtaining prescriptions through offshore or fly-by-night operations.

I also assume that being prescribed a controlled substance involves access to records from law enforcement. At the least a phone call would be made to your pharmacy.

Driver
01-27-09, 02:23 AM
That's not true in Florida. You can be CONVICTED of possession of a controlled substance and get a 25-year prison term (http://www.reason.com/blog/show/121630.html) for carrying a legitimately prescribed C-III. The guy in question got lucky, had the conviction overturned, and was freed after over 2 years. It's not over yet; he's being retried (or was in 2007). All he lost was over 2 years of his life, two condos, and his car.

The prescription was NOT a defense; it could be introduced at trial. Florida law did (does?) not allow a "prescription defense," at least for C-III opiates. The moment you walk out of the pharmacy you are committing a felony.

I guess the pill container label would not have helped this guy.

Not quite so. The jury wasn't informed that it is legal to posses the drug with a valid prescription.



499.03 Possession of certain drugs without prescriptions unlawful; exemptions and exceptions.--
(1) A person may not possess, or possess with intent to sell, dispense, or deliver, any habit-forming, toxic, harmful, or new drug subject to s. 499.003(32), or prescription drug as defined in s. 499.003(42), unless the possession of the drug has been obtained by a valid prescription of a practitioner licensed by law to prescribe the drug...

Also, the state was trying him on traffiking charges because he was in possession of 80 pills of vicodin.

That said, this was interesting in:
(2) The possession of a drug under subsection (1) by any person not exempted under this section, which drug is not properly labeled to indicate that possession is by a valid prescription of a practitioner licensed by law to prescribe such drug, is prima facie evidence that such possession is unlawful.

Or in other words: if it's in an unlabeled container, its enough evidence for an unlawful possession.

This is Florida's Statutes only - other states may vary.

mijahe
01-27-09, 06:22 AM
I suspect that law is different from state to state in the US? Or at least subtly different enough to be a pain.

I think the next question would be, (to the OP), Which state are you from?


For me, downunder, it might be different.

But, now I'm going to investigate this. I tend to leave a Ritalin strip at work in my draw, (in case I've forgotten to take any in the morning), and take another with me in my pocket. I'll ask a lawyer friend about it.

Driver
01-27-09, 08:10 AM
Yeah US law varies from state to state (quite considerably).

As for OZ, I've been doing my research but haven't found anything about us and pills.

All I did turn up that having 2gms (e.g., 200 x 10mg Ritalin tabs) or more is considered a traffickable amount: get caught with it and onus is on you to prove you're not trafficking drugs, and you're legally allowed to have it. The legislation docos are convoluted, but I would assume a prescription is a legal authorisation to possess drug.

Looking through the Drugs of Dependance Act, it looks like though that there is a massive paper trail generated for the movement of these drugs (from manuf, to distrib., to chemist etc). So it wouldn't be hard to prove you obtained the drugs legally, and you had authorisation to have them.

Frankly I think it's better for all concerned if we only carry as much as we need on us, and not the whole box/bottle because then there's less to lose/get stolen. I'd rather lose 10 tabs than a box of 100.

ecu20
01-27-09, 02:35 PM
Ok an update-

I spoke to a high up Judge in my neck of the woods, and inquired about the legality of carrying Schedule II drugs in pillboxes.

He stated that technically you CAN be arrested for this, since there is not proper labeling on pill boxes (the officer can be "acting in good faith"). However, he stated that when brought up on the charges, a simple indicator of your legal right to possess the substance would quickly dismiss charges brought up against you. Anything from the pharmacy pill bottle, Dr. letter, script copy, insurance receipt, insurance statement, ETC. would be accepted as evidence of your legal right to possess. And as said, after that, charges would be quickly dismissed (worst case scenario).

The only charges which could be brought up against you (grounds for arrest) would be 1 of 2: possession of a controlled substance, or possession of an illicit substance. You would not be charged with the crime if you are able to provide evidence that you are legally prescribed the drug.

Just an update :)

Another update :D. This is in NC Courts.

Unless shown otherwise, I am fairly certain that this law is pretty much the same general outlook on the federal level. Again, show me the proof and i'll gracefully apologize while kissing a bottom silly (theoretically speaking). Until then, i'm still waiting for a "GOVT CHARGES CITIZEN FOR DRUGS LEGAL FOR CITIZEN TO POSSESS" news title among the headlines.

fxfake
01-27-09, 05:08 PM
The Florida incident cited is not relevent to our situation since the article clearly says that the reason he was charged was because the amount of pills he was carrying around was over a state law limit.

What about my 100+ pills of C-II ADD meds? Looking at the relevant laws for FL, they might also get you in jail for trafficking. The guy in question got doubly &#* because the weight that counted was the weight of the pills (mostly APAP).

This case was in the 80's and I strongly doubt that law exists anymore.

80s? No, I believe you are incorrect. Arrested 2004, convicted 2005. Retrial in 2007.

I also assume that being prescribed a controlled substance involves access to records from law enforcement. At the least a phone call would be made to your pharmacy.

It did not matter in this case.

fxfake
01-27-09, 05:10 PM
Not quite so. The jury wasn't informed that it is legal to posses the drug with a valid prescription.[FONT=Lucida Sans Unicode]

I corrected myself in the next post (I wish I could edit the original so that this kind of misunderstanding doesn't stay permanent).

Tominal
01-27-09, 09:09 PM
The bottom line is that both the applicable statutes and enforcement policies are going to vary from location to location, so you need to check where you live/travel if you carry scheduled meds in anything other than the original container.

Furthemore, circumstances matter, in the real world. If someone is clearly guilty of some other criminal offense, they may be looking at an added charge of possession/intent to distribute if they are also in possession of controlled Rx meds outside of the original container. For example, see this 2004 North Carolina decision, affirming admission of dextrostat as evidence of possession with intent to sell where pills found in a seperate container along with other drugs, notwithstanding the fact that she had a legitimate prescription for the dextrostat: http://www.aoc.state.nc.us/www/public/coa/opinions/2005/unpub/041303-1.htm (http://www.aoc.state.nc.us/www/public/coa/opinions/2005/unpub/041303-1.htm)

Here's a copy of the applicable statute in Washington State:
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.50.309 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.50.309)

The exact same statutory language applies in Illinois:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K312 (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K312)

And Utah:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K312 (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K312)

Similar statute in NY:
http://law.onecle.com/new-york/public-health/PBH03345_3345.html (http://law.onecle.com/new-york/public-health/PBH03345_3345.html)

You get the idea. These are just a few examples--the statutes, penalties, and enforcement policies vary.

Driver
01-27-09, 09:47 PM
For example, see this 2004 North Carolina decision, affirming admission of dextrostat as evidence of possession with intent to sell where pills found in a seperate container along with other drugs, notwithstanding the fact that she had a legitimate prescription for the dextrostat: http://www.aoc.state.nc.us/www/public/coa/opinions/2005/unpub/041303-1.htm (http://www.aoc.state.nc.us/www/public/coa/opinions/2005/unpub/041303-1.htm)


An interesting case, although I have to agree with the ruling as:


She had 2.5 days worth of supply of dex just to visit a neighbor
The pills were not on her person, or personal belongings
The pills were stored in a container, with marijuana and paraphernalia, and inside the desk drawer of the neighbor.
The search of the residents was consensual.
The defendant declined traveling with the police to her residents to present the prescription.

She could have quite easily been innocent and just stupid, but it only takes a reasonable belief that trafficking occurred for a conviction to occur.

ecu20
01-27-09, 10:02 PM
For example, see this 2004 North Carolina decision, affirming admission of dextrostat as evidence of possession with intent to sell where pills found in a seperate container along with other drugs, notwithstanding the fact that she had a legitimate prescription for the dextrostat: http://www.aoc.state.nc.us/www/public/coa/opinions/2005/unpub/041303-1.htm (http://www.aoc.state.nc.us/www/public/coa/opinions/2005/unpub/041303-1.htm)

In addition to Driver's response:

She had 50 mg's of dextrostat in a “little box inside the drawer of a table beside the couch <!-- End of font DarkCourierRegular with size 12 --> <!-- Font changed to TimesNewRomanRegular with size 3 --> <!-- End of font TimesNewRomanRegular with size 12 --> <!-- Font changed to DarkCourierRegular with size 3 -->containing the following items:"


partially smoked marijuana joint or blunt
weed in a baggie
SCALES (more than one)
PIPES (more than one)
plastic bag with five 10mg D-amphetamine pills

They reached the conclusion
" We find the location of the pills and their storage in a box with marijuana and related paraphernalia away from defendant's home and person and out of the prescription bottle to be inconsistent with defendant's innocent possession. An inference of intent by their possessor or possessors to treat the pills as contraband for illicit use is raised rather than defendant's possession of legitimate prescription medicine. Although a close question, we hold the totality of the circumstances is sufficient to take the case against defendant beyond the realm of “mere suspicion or conjecture” and to support a reasonable inference of her intent to sale and deliver the amphetamines in whole or in part to another party to support submission to the jury."

In other words, it would have been dismissed had it NOT been stored in a box with marijuana, scales, pipes and baggies. Had it been in a pill box with, say, fish oil pills, or a multivitamin, or something else, I would HARDLY see them using that as likely possession with INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE.

mammalspod
01-28-09, 09:04 AM
What's funny is you all want to keep arguing your point (that you might get screwed with by the cops for not having your pills in the original container).

A) Get an extra copy of the label on your pill bottle and carry it around in your wallet ( I already posted this) your pharmacy will do this
B) Show me the LAW that restricts what container your pills have to be in for transport, and I'll give up the argument.

Otherwise if you have ADHD pills that aren't with other controlled drugs (Altoids tin full of painkillers and Adderall), and you are not driving around drunk or with pot in your car, and your prescription can be verified (agreeing to travel back to your house to show prescription as in previous case cited), and you aren't on probation for drugs or something-you'll be fine.

You guys sound like me back when I smoked pot everyday. Reminder-the original question was is it "illegal" to carry your pills around in a weekly pill box-NO.

Tominal
01-28-09, 03:15 PM
-the original question was is it "illegal" to carry your pills around in a weekly pill box-NO.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, your conclusion is simply not true, at least in some states. I agree with you about liklihood of enforcement--as I said it will undoubtedly depend on the circumstances. But the bottom line is that at least in some states, it is illegal to carry controlled substances in any container other than the original prescription bottle. For example, the link to the Washington statute provided in my last post reads:

</B>"A person to whom or for whose use any controlled substance has been prescribed, sold, or dispensed by a practitioner, and the owner of any animal for which such controlled substance has been prescribed, sold, or dispensed may lawfully possess it only in the container in which it was delivered to him by the person selling or dispensing the same."
[1971 ex.s. c 308 69.50.309 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.50.309).](emphasis added).

So respectfully, the answer to the original question appears to be "yes, at least in some states," not "no".