Ephedra Drug Crimes
Drug Crime Defense Law Firm for Those in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Throughout Michigan Arrested for Ephedra Drug Crimes
Ephedra, also known as Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, Epitonin and as a natural product called Ma Huang, is derived from a plant grown in regions of central Asia originally used to cure illness such as colds. This plant has been around for thousands of years; ephedrine is an ingredient contained in many cold and diet pills and supplements. Because of the serious health risks and side effects associated with Ephedra, its use in dietary supplements has been banned; only physicians may prescribe dietary products containing this ingredient. In Michigan, it is illegal to buy more than 3.6 grams of Ephedra in a single day or more than 9 grams in one month; in fact, it is a federal crime.
Ephedra, Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine are still used in cold products today, although it is required by law that these medications be kept behind the pharmacy counter. Individuals who purchase these medications must provide proof of identification, such as a driver's license, and sign a log pharmacists keep to ensure an individual does not purchase an illegal amount of Ephedra or Ephedrine containing products. Individuals producing methamphetamines, or “meth,” in labs for illegal sale and distribution, frequently use these Ephedra derivatives in Michigan.
At Grabel & Associates, our team of Michigan Ephedra defense lawyers is dedicated to protecting the legal rights and freedom of individuals accused of drug crimes involving Ephedra, including possession or possession with intent to manufacture, deliver, sale, or distribute. We have a reputation across the state of Michigan for securing positive results for our clients; our primary goal is to keep you out of jail.
Health Risks Associated With the Use of Ephedra
Over the years, many individuals who took dietary supplements or cold medicines containing Ephedra or Ephedrine experienced increased energy, decreased appetite and other "positive" side effects of the substance. However, it soon became clear that there were many negative and potentially dangerous side effects of these substances including increased heart rate, restlessness, breathing problems and even heart attacks.
Many people have died after taking significant amounts of drugs or supplements containing these substances, including athletes. Because of the risks associated with Ephedra and related substances, Congress banned the sale of supplements containing these substances in 2004, making it illegal to sell or market dietary supplements containing Ephedra or Ephedrine over the counter. Today, many companies sell dietary products that contain similar stimulants that are often marketed as Ephedra substitutes; some of the ingredients that offer similar effects are herbal stimulants.
Federal Penalties for Ephedra Drug Crimes
As mentioned earlier, federal law prohibits the purchase of more than 3.6 grams daily or 9 grams in one month of medications containing Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine. This is considered a federal crime, even when the medication is actually for medical use or is purchased for someone else. Individuals who are charged with purchasing more than this amount of Ephedra containing medications and who are convicted will face penalties which include a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
Individuals who have been convicted prior on drug related charges will be subject to penalties which are more severe, potentially up to 3 years in prison and fines of at least $5,000 or both, depending on whether you have only one prior conviction, or two or more.
Civil fines also apply to registered drug manufacturers who manufacture more medications containing Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine than they are authorized to manufacture, or manufacture these medications without authorization to do so. Individuals who violate this provision could face a civil fine of $25,000; a company may be fined up to $250,000. These civil fines are based on first offense violations.
Michigan Penalties for Drug Crimes Involving Ephedra
Unless you have a valid prescription, government permission or it is in pediatric (children's) form, possession of greater than 12 grams of Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine is a crime in Michigan. This is a felony offense that could potentially leave a convicted individual facing prison time of two years, fines of up to $2,000, or both.
Ephedra or Ephedrine possession with intent to distribute, sell or deliver leads to serious penalties as well. If you are convicted of possession with intent, you may face penalties of up to four years in prison, fines of up to $5,000, or both. Again, this does not apply if pediatric medications are involved, or you have a valid prescription. However, this is applicable to sales or distribution via telephone, Internet, mail or any electronic method.
Hire an Aggressive Michigan Drug Crimes Attorney Immediately to Protect Your Freedom
Individuals who have been arrested for or charged with crimes involving Ephedra, Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine should contact an aggressive Michigan ephedra defense lawyer right away to ensure your legal rights are protected. At Grabel & Associates, we fight vigorously to keep our clients out of jail, and provide you with unparalleled legal guidance and representation.
We are available 24/7, any time day or night. To speak with our experienced case analyst or set up a free case evaluation, call our toll-free number today at 1-800-342-7896. Do not delay; it is critical to the outcome that work begins on your case immediately. Contact us online.