Despite tighter regulations on the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine, the meth industry continues to grow. According to this article from The Crime Report, 128 meth labs were busted in California in 2007, while that number increased to 153 in 2008. While this could be attributed to better police action, even the police agree the prevalence of meth labs is growing.
The nation’s most “notorious drug”, methamphetamines are highly addictive and cheap. Once made with ephedrine, manufacturers moved to using pseudoephedrine (a common cold medicine ingredient) when ephedrine was banned in the 1990s.
Several years ago, federal law went into place limiting the amount of pseudoephedrine products any one person could purchase on a daily basis. Currently, people can only purchase 3.6 grams per day. All products containing this active ingredient must be signed for when purchased.
Meth manufacturers have figured out a way to still get enough of the products to maintain their businesses through a practice called smurfing. Smurfing refers to using people to visit various drug stores, purchasing the maximum amount of pseudoephedrine at each one. These people may be paid around $100 per day or paid per box of delivered products.
Regardless of how much they are paid, this approach is keeping meth labs in business.
When there is a demand for a drug like this, people will figure out how to continue making the product. Because meth is so addictive, the demand is high. This same Crime Report article states that meth has grown to be the second most used drug worldwide, pretty remarkable considering how young the drug is.
If you are caught in possession of meth in California, you will likely be charged with a felony crime. Felonies are the most serious of crime classifications and can land you behind bars for several years.
If this is your first drug charge, we may be able to help you avoid prison time. You could qualify for one of several incarceration alternatives available to first time offenders.
Being caught in possession of any kind of drug is no light matter. Call me today to discuss the details of your case and to see if I can help.