Arrested For A Drug Crime?
Although methamphetamine is excellent at causing long periods of wakefulness in those who consume it, it is not especially good at instilling fear in people who have never consumed it. Our imaginations simply do not catastrophize about meth in the same way as they do about cocaine or opioids. Breaking Bad made meth look cool enough and dangerous enough to be a worthy MacGuffin, but the producers were only able to achieve that effect by casting blue, cotton candy flavored rock candy in the role of meth. In our third year of pandemic ennui, it is hard to remember the last time anything looked cool, but in the days leading up to the lockdown, as everyone was settling down to binge watch Tiger King (yes, tigers are impressive looking, and three years ago we felt alive enough to appreciate this fact), a new version of methamphetamine was making its way into Florida on I-10, and three years later, along with COVID and its attendant financial stress and ennui, it is still here. Here, our Miami drug crimes defense lawyer explains how the new version of methamphetamine is affecting the epidemiology of substance abuse and how it could affect your criminal case.
Methamphetamine in the Law and Society
Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants that have been available medically and commercially for nearly a century. When they were less strictly regulated, soldiers, truckers, touring musicians, and others whose work required them to stay awake and alert for unusually long periods of time used to take them. Since amphetamines suppress appetite even as they stimulate alertness, doctors also used to prescribe them as weight loss drugs, although this practice has become less common recently, because the risks of amphetamines are well known, and because other treatments for obesity have since become available. Today, the most common medical applications of amphetamines are as treatments for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Methamphetamine itself is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it is legally in the same category as cocaine and fentanyl. The various schedules (categories) of drugs in the Controlled Substances Act are not based on the chemical composition of the drug but rather its uses and effects. Schedule I controlled substances, such as heroin and MDMA, have a high potential for abuse and are always illegal. Schedule II controlled substances have an equally high abuse potential, but they have at least one legally accepted medical application.
How Is Super Meth Different From Plain Old Meth?
A new type of methamphetamine has been part of the U.S. drug supply since late 2019; this new variety, nicknamed “super meth,” has only increased its presence over the past three years. The difference is one of its precursor chemicals, phenyl-2-propanone, which is much less expensive than the precursor chemicals used to make old-fashioned meth. Therefore, super meth tends to be much purer than the old version of meth; pre-pandemic methamphetamine was, on average, 39 percent pure, whereas super meth tends to be more than 90 percent pure.
Cheaper and stronger is a dangerous combination when it comes to drugs. The most pessimistic assessments draw an analogy where old meth is to super meth as heroin is to fentanyl. Methamphetamine overdoses have increased since super meth came to town, especially since buyers often do not realize how strong the drug they are taking is, but a lethal dose of super meth is not as minuscule as a lethal dose of fentanyl.
What Happens If the Stash the Police Confiscated From Your Car Tests Positive for Super Meth
Much of the super meth involved in criminal cases in the United States has originated in Mexico. This means that, if you get caught with super meth in South Florida, there is probably a long story of how the super meth ended up in Miami, and the police probably want to know that story, even if you do not know all of the details about it. In other words, information that you can provide about where you got the super meth and where the person you bought it from got it could be important pieces of evidence in a larger criminal investigation. Prosecutors may offer you a plea deal, or even complete immunity from criminal charges, in exchange for your testimony about how the super meth ended up in your possession.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys
A South Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges for possession or distribution of methamphetamine or other controlled substances. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo in Miami, Florida for a free, confidential consultation about your case.