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Amphetamines and UK Law
Under the UK law, amphetamines are controlled substances. The relevant statutes are the Medicines Act and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Therefore, doctors can prescribe them to patients legally, but any other unauthorized production, supply or possession is a criminal offense.
The Act divides controlled substances into three classifications:
Class A Drugs
- Class A drugs are considered the most dangerous and carry the harshest penalties for manufacturing, possessing or distributing them.
- Amphetamines manufactured for injecting fall within this category.
- Methamphetamine was declared a Class A drug in 2007.
- The penalty for possession of amphetamines in this form is an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment of up to seven years.
- The penalty for dealing injectable speed is an unlimited fine and/or life in prison.
Class B Drugs
- Amphetamines that are not prepared for injection are considered Class B drugs.
- Possession of a Class B drug carries a penalty of an unlimited fine and/or up to five years in prison.
- A conviction for dealing Class B drugs means the individual will be subject to an unlimited fine and/or a prison sentence of up to 14 years in prison.
Class C Drugs
- Certain amphetamine-based drugs, including Benzphetamine, are included in this classification.
- The penalty for possession of a Class C drug is an unlimited fine and/or up to two years behind bars.
- A person who is convicted of dealing one of these substances is subject to the same penalty as if the substance was a Class B one (unlimited fine and/or up to 14 years imprisonment).
United States Law and Speed
In the US, amphetamines are categorized under Schedule III, since they act on the central nervous system. Drugs classified in this manner share these characteristics:
- They have a potential for abuse, but this potential is less than that associated with opium or cocaine use.
- They have some accepted medical use in the U.S.
- Using the drug has the potential to produce a mild to moderate physical dependence.
- The drug has a high potential for psychological dependence.
Under U.S. law, it is illegal to manufacture, distribute or possess a controlled substance. A person who is convicted of manufacturing, possessing or distributing more than 5 grams of methamphetamine is subject to these penalties:
- Imprisonment of between 5 and 40 years.
- If death or a serious injury occurs, the minimum prison sentence increases to 20 years and the defendant may be sentenced to up to life in prison.
- A fine of up to $2 million for an individual and $5 million for a defendant other than an individual may be imposed.
For a second offense, the minimum prison sentence goes up to 10 years. The fines also increase to up to $4 million for an individual and $10 million for an entity other than an individual.
The penalties for being convicted of possession of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine are as follows:
- A sentence of 10 years to life in prison; if a death or serious injury results from distributing the drug, the penalty increases to 20 years to life.
- A heavy fine of up to $4 million for an individual and $10 million if the defendant is not an individual.
When the offense is committed by someone with a prior conviction for possessing or distributing methamphetamine, the penalties increase. The minimum sentence in this case is 20 years in prison. Where a death or serious injury resulted from the sale or distribution of the drug, the defendant in the case may be sentenced to life in prison. A third conviction means the defendant will automatically be sentenced to life in prison.
Canadian Law and Bennies
In Canada, amphetamines are a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Possession of a small amount of the drug is treated as a summary offense under the Act. On conviction, the accused is subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail, or both.
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