Possession of Methamphetamine - HS 11377

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine (d-desoxyephedrine), commonly meth or speed, is a highly additive synthetic stimulant. It is approved for limited medical use under the pharmaceutical trade name Desoxyn for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity.

Using, possessing, selling, transporting or manufacturing methamphetamine without a legitimate prescription or license are serious crimes with penalties of imprisonment and fines and/or probation and mandatory drug treatment.

Crank, Ice, Crystal, Glass, Tweak, Chalk and Bikers Coffee are some of the street names for meth, which is sold in pill and powder form. Crystal meth looks like glass fragments or bluish-white “rocks”. Meth users typically swallow, snort or inject the drug. Crystal meth is smoked, usually with a glass pipe. The drug produces an initial euphoria and intense “rush,” along with energy, alertness, rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure and hypothermia.

Health problems from abuse and addiction include extreme anorexia, severe dental problems known as “meth mouth,” itching (and skin picking), insomnia, memory loss, anxiety, confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, emotional problems and violent behavior. At high doses, meth can create a dangerous spike in body temperature causing convulsions, stroke, heart attack and death by overdose.

What Is The History Of Methamphetamine?

Not long after Amphetamine was discovered in 1887, methamphetamine was synthesized from ephedrine in 1893 by a Japanese chemist. Crystallized meth was synthesized in 1919. During World War II, both the Axis and Allied forces used methamphetamine as a performance enhancer. Japan also used the drug to boost industrial worker productivity in the 1940s and 1950s.

In 1950s America, doctors increasingly prescribed methamphetamine to their patients as treatments for depression, alcoholism, obesity, and other conditions. It was used in the formula for a diet drug now used for ADHD. Methamphetamine became popular for use as “bennies” or “pep pills” among dieters, housewives, college students, truckers and athletes.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 curbed the availability of the drug. Illicit meth labs sprang up to meet black market demand, mostly operated by larger drug traffickers and motorcycle gangs.

By the 1990s, meth manufacturing became a “mom and pop” operation in the homes of users and small-time dealers–especially in California, other western states, and the southwest. Notoriously dangerous, household labs are a public hazard due to flammable chemicals and solvents and the high risk of explosion and fire during the “cooking” process.

Federal and state efforts to curb illicit meth production have led to tight restrictions and controls on the import and sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, key ingredients used in cooking meth. Sale and access to some common cold and allergy medicines with pseudoephedrine are tightly monitored, and even restricted in some states.

Meth is considered one of the most abused drugs in California and the world.

Current Legal Status

Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II central nervous system stimulant under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act [Cal. Health and Safety Code, Section 11055(d)]. Its medical uses are limited to treatment for ADHD and short-term treatment for obesity.

What Are The Penalties For Possession Of Methamphetamine? Hs 11377

HS 11377 Possession of methamphetamine for personal use without a legitimate prescription is a violation of California Health and Safety Code, Section 11377. The violation is a “wobbler,” meaning that prosecutors may choose to file misdemeanor or felony charges.

A misdemeanor conviction carries a maximum jail term of one year. The sentence for a felony conviction is a maximum of three years in state prison.

If eligible, an individual may be permitted to participate in court-ordered drug diversion or treatment instead of jail. Contact the Johnson Criminal Law Group if you are charged with possession.


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