Recently, deputies in Santa Clarita conducted a welfare check on a man who had been in the bathroom of a Newhall gas station for over an hour. Upon making contact with the man, deputies discovered he was in possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, and had a $75,000 warrant for his arrest citing (presumably) other narcotics charges.
Possession of methamphetamine is covered under California Health and Safety Code 11377 HS and is described as possessing methamphetamine for personal use. Methamphetamine is a dangerous narcotic and a controlled substance, the possession of which is illegal without a valid prescription. There are, however, a few exceptions to the law. Medical professionals, including doctors, veterinarians, and pharmacists, are allowed to possess the drug in certain quantities in compliance with California’s drug laws. Methamphetamine is seldom prescribed, though it can be beneficial to people suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as well as to help morbidly obese people lose weight.
Methamphetamine is a stimulant, available on the street as pills, powder, or crystal form, and can be snorted, smoked, injected, swallowed, or “huffed.” Historically, methamphetamine was widely used in the 1950’s to help keep truckers awake during long-hauls, students stay awake to study, and by athletes. Today, it’s highly-controlled and only ever prescribed by medical professionals in very specific cases.
When someone is found to be in possession of methamphetamine for personal use without a prescription, the crime is typically charged as a misdemeanor with the possible penalties of up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. However, it’s possible to be charged with a felony and receive an enhanced sentence of 16 months to 3 years in jail if the defendant has a prior conviction of one or more of a small list of serious felonies (including murder, sexually violent crimes, and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated) or a sex crime that subjects the defendant to mandatory registration as a sex offender.