Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ecstasy qualifies as a controlled substance under Health & Safety Code section 11377

The California 4th District Court of Appeal held that because Ecstasy contains methamphetamine, it qualifies as a controlled substance or an analog to a controlled substance for purposes of Health and Safety Code section 11377. In this case, Appellant was convicted of possession of Ecstasy. He argued insufficient evidence supported the conviction because the drug is neither a controlled substance, nor an analog of any controlled substance for purposes of the statute. Section 11377 prohibits possession of controlled substances which are specified in several other statutes. Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or methyldioxy methamphetamine, is not listed in any of these statutes. But, one of the statutes enumerated in section 11377, namely section 11055, subdivision (d), includes, inter alia, "stimulants" containing any quantity of methamphetamine. In this case, the officer testified Ecstasy includes methamphetamine and has a stimulating effect similar to it. Based on this testimony, the jury reasonably concluded that Ecstasy is either a controlled substance or an analog of methamphetamine for purposes of the crime.

The case is: People v. Becker, District: 4 DCA, Division: 2, Case #: E047898