Fresno: Meth Capital of the US

According to the Sacramento Bee, California’s Central Valley is a “hub of the nation’s methamphetamine network,” and home to untold numbers of meth addicts. One such addict made the news last week after killing her cousin, her two children, and herself while in a psychotic meth-induced rampage. The drug is highly dangerous and very cheap, making for a particularly bad combination.

Methamphetamines began in the 80s and 90s as the poor man’s cocaine. Though many states believed they had succeeding in pushing back the use and distribution of meth, it is once again growing, and is particularly prominent in rural areas.

Meth is made in home labs, and sometimes on the fly using the newer “Shake and Bake” method. But, in rural California, farms with outbuildings are becoming homes for new major meth manufacturing organizations. There are said to be more of these “superlabs” in California than anywhere else in the nation.

Some of these superlabs are connected to Mexican drug cartels. Just last month, 24 members of La Familia Michoacana were arrested with a combined 14 pounds of meth, 30 gallons of meth solution, 17 firearms, and over $100,000 in cash.

For people who want to make the meth themselves, there is a “simple” recipe being circulated that allows them to mix up the dangerous solution in a 2 liter bottle. Called “shake and bake,” this method is very dangerous, and according to the San Francisco Gate, filling up the nation’s burn units.

Officials caution would-be users that meth is not like marijuana, it is not some “harmless” substance. According to one defense attorney, “It’s not illegal because we don’t want people to feel better. It’s illegal because it makes good people do crazy things.”

Meth has an energizing effect that last much longer than cocaine. Meth addicts sometimes stay awake for days on end. This lack of sleep combined with chemical reactions in the brain can cause psychosis and hallucinations. There are countless stories of meth users doing crazy things, hurting people close to them or themselves while under the influence.

It’s precisely because of these dangers that penalties for meth offenses are so severe. People charged with crimes related to methamphetamines can expect to face serious consequences in the California courts.

If you are facing meth possession charges in California or other  drug charges and are concerned about the possible outcome, you could be eligible for drug court or other diversion alternatives. Contact us today to discuss your case and how we might be able to help.