PCP, or phencyclidine
, was first used as an anesthetic during World War I. It was used for a short time, but found to be unsafe for use, due to the frequency of hallucinations, psychotic symptoms and delusions suffered by those on whom it was used for surgical purposes. In 1957, phencyclidine was repackaged and renamed Sernyl and introduced for testing. Again, the side effects proved to be both dangerous and ill advised, so it was taken off the market completely in 1965.
Since it is no longer produced for any purpose legally, manufacture of the substance is done under unmonitored and uncontrolled labs, making PCP's side effects
substantially more random and unpredictable.
Phencyclidine Laws in the United States
Since it is no longer medically indicated for use for any purpose, PCP is not legally manufactured in the United States. Therefore, it changed from a Schedule III narcotic substance in the 1960s to a Schedule II narcotic in the late 1970s by the Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, possession of PCP is a crime, punishable by anywhere between 5 and 40 years in prison, depending on several factors. These would include, but not be limited to: amount in possession, whether it is being considered as being “trafficked” or just sold, or if the charge is one of simple possession.
Classified as a schedule II substance by Food and Drug Administration, PCP is considered to have high potential for addiction.
Manufacturing PCP is risky business, due to the nature of the chemical ingredients. One ingredient used to manufacture PCP is cyanide, a deadly poison. The other ingredients in pharmaceutically produced Phencyclidine are also used to create plastics and volatile chemical substances such as paint and removers. Illegal labs creating PCP are known to use ingredients that may mimic PCP manufacture, but are more deadly or create more dangerous symptoms, depending on the availability of the regularly used products. This creates an even stronger likelihood that side effects will occur that are undesirable and/or dangerous for the user.
Laws vary across the nation for production, sales, possession, trafficking and use of PCP. However, it is considered by many agencies and medical communities to be the single most dangerous drug of abuse
Penalties for possession and sale of PCP, a Schedule 2 drug in California, are regulated under Health and Safety Code 11377 of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. This law makes it illegal for possession, use, sales and/or trafficking in the State of California.
Convictions for use and possession may be charged as either misdemeanor or felony, depending on details surrounding the arrest and the agencies involved. Misdemeanor conviction may lead to one year in County jail and a fine of up to $1000.00. Felony possession may be sentenced to somewhere between 16 months and 3 years in State prison and a fine up to $10,000. Programs for drug offenders may be applicable in either instance.
PCP Laws in UK
According to the Medicines Act and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, phencyclidine is an illegal substance. Since it has no medical application in the UK, possession or use of PCP can be penalized by up to 7 years in prison, along with fines. Distribution (sales) of PCP can be punishable by higher fines and even life imprisonment. The same is true for those found guilty of manufacture of the drug.
PCP Laws in Canada
Canadian law is the same as the UK. Possession of PCP is punishable with fines and up to 7 years in prison. Convictions for supplying (distribution or sales) of PCP can lead to substantially higher penalties and possibly even sentencing to life in prison.