eli5: What happens to all the illegal drugs seized by police?

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eli5: What happens to all the illegal drugs seized by police?

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Officially they’re destroyed, which usually means burned.

Sometimes some of it goes missing.

There are private companies that have specially ventilated buildings for burning drugs to destroy them. Once an agency amasses a certain amount of drugs and the cases are adjudicated, they turn them over to these companies for destruction. Someone from the LE agency stays to watch and ensure they are actually destroyed.

The same thing goes for seized firearms except they go to a place that melts down metal. Most SoCal agencies take them to a steel company where they are melted down and turned into rebar.

Goes into an evidence store room until trial. Then its brought out and shown to the court as evidence. Once the trial is over, or a deal is made between the accused and the prosecution, then has to follow procedures laid out by the DOJ for evidence retention.

https://www.justice.gov/jm/9-14000-procedure-disposal-seized-evidence-closed-criminal-cases

Essentially they have to keep it for a certain amount of time, then notify everyone ( including the defendent’s lawyer) about it’s pending destruction. If no one objects then it is destroyed. If anyone objects then it may be retained for far longer.

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They pile it at the end of our local airport and set it on fire. Then all the locals who live downwind get really fucked up for an afternoon.