As reported by the Miami Herald, methamphetamine, or “meth,” is currently being smuggled into Florida at a higher rate than in recent years, and the quality of the drug is more potent than ever. “Super labs” south of the U.S. border are producing high grade methamphetamine, which is being smuggled into Florida and sold on the street with little fillers added. Methamphetamine sold to an undercover law enforcement agent was tested in a lab as 98 percent pure methamphetamine. According to a South Florida therapist that works with addicted patients, “With the much stronger meth, there is a higher rate of psychosis and overdoses. People are getting addicted sooner.” If you were charged with methamphetamine possession, the state will not treat your addiction as a medical issue; you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. You need a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney who will aggressively work to have your charges dropped or significantly reduced.
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II Controlled Substance
While very few people in Florida die of meth overdoses, a slight uptick in deaths has been noted in recent years. In 2012, two people died of meth overdoses, three people died in 2013, seven died in 2014, six died in 2015, 13 died in 2016, and more than 13 are expected to have died in 2017. Opioid painkillers still kill far more people and cause far more addictions in Florida than methamphetamine, but both drugs are listed as schedule II controlled substances in Florida statute 893.03. Schedule II substances have high potential for abuse and currently accepted though severely restricted medical use in treatment. Abuse of Schedule II controlled substances have severe psychological or physical dependence, according to the statute. Other types of Schedule II drugs include the following:
- Fentanyl; and
New Bill to Change Landscape of Punishment for Addicted Drug Users
Many other developed countries treat drug use and addiction as a health disorder, not a criminal problem. In the U.S., for decades we have ramped up prison sentences for drug use with the alleged goal of creating a strong legal deterrent, though most likely this was due to political one-upmanship on being “tough on crime.” However, Florida lawmakers proposed a bill that, if signed into law, would offer addiction treatment in the form of a diversion program in place of prison punishment for those in possession of controlled substance, according to U.S. News & World Report. The bill died, though diversion programs are still a possibility for certain defendants.
A West Palm Beach Lawyer is Here to Help
Whether you or a loved one have been charged with methamphetamine possession or any other controlled substance, you need legal help in order to minimize the penalties or beat the charges. Was your vehicle searched illegally? Is the court willing to consider a diversion program? There are many options that an experienced criminal defense lawyer may pursue. Contact the West Palm Beach law offices of the Skier Law Firm for immediate legal assistance.