In Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660


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In Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660 (1962), the Supreme Court ruled that a law may not punish a status; i.e., one may not be punished for being an alcoholic or for being addicted to drugs. However, of course, one may be punished for actions such as abusing drugs.

The question becomes: What if the status “forces” the action? What if a person, because of his or her addiction to drugs, is “forced” by the addiction to purchase and abuse the illegal drug? Would punishing that person be unfairly punishing a status?

Please find some case law and write a minimum of a 1-2 page essay addressing this question.