Like other amphetamines, methamphetamine is a stimulant. While any pronouncements made by a state agency about illicit drugs should be viewed with skepticism, the Texas Department of State Health Services claims that the use and manufacture of methamphetamine “is a serious and growing problem in both rural and urban areas of Texas.”

Methamphetamine is a white or off-white crystalline powder. It is usually ingested by smoking although it can also be “snorted” (inhaled nasally) or injected. Methamphetamine is not commonly used for medical treatment but it does have approved medical uses, particularly as a treatment for obesity. It is listed in Schedule II of the Texas Controlled Substance Schedules.

Production of “Meth”

Because an overpowering smell accompanies methamphetamine production, it is often manufactured in rural areas to reduce the chance that a clandestine “meth lab” will be detected. While the phrase “meth lab” conjures images of a full-blown laboratory, the components needed to manufacture methamphetamine can be transported in a pickup truck, and most can be carried in a large bucket.

Various methods are used to manufacture methamphetamine. The most common involve ephedrine, a component of cold remedies. Ephedrine is often extracted from pseudoephedrine, another popular cold remedy. For that reason, Texas and the federal government have classified ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and related drugs as precursor chemicals and have regulated their sale.

To the extent that those efforts have reduced the domestic production of methamphetamine, they have not reduced the supply. They have simply driven the manufacturing process to Mexico where the precursor chemicals are more easily obtained.

Methamphetamine Penalties

All offenses in Texas involving methamphetamine, regardless of quantity, are classified as felonies. Penalties depend upon the crime and the quantity of methamphetamine involved in the crime. Methamphetamine is included in Penalty Group 1 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act. Consult our Penalty Group 1 article to lean about the penalties that apply to delivery, possession with intent to deliver, manufacturing, or possession of methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine is one of only two drugs for which Congress has drawn a sentencing distinction between the drug in its “pure” form and its inclusion in a mixture. The penalties therefore depend on whether the drug is possessed or distributed in its pure form or has been mixed with some other substance.

How a Drug Lawyer Can Help

All Penalty Group 1 offenses are serious crimes in the State of Texas. Judges are particularly harsh when imposing sentences for crimes involving methamphetamine. If you or a loved one have been accused of possessing or delivering methamphetamine, you need the assistance of an experienced Lubbock drug defense lawyer. Call Hamilton, Hull & Byrd today to discuss your case.