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Defending Drug Crime Prosecution - Part 1

To fully understand how Colorado Drug Crimes are prosecuted in the Courts of Colorado – one must understand the drugs and how they have been “scheduled” by the Federal Government.

Drugs or substances that are not sold over the counter (OTC) are divided into five schedules, labeled with Roman numerals.

Schedule I is for drugs for which there is no currently acceptable medical usage in the U.S. It includes, for example, heroin, LSD, and marijuana.

Schedules II-V, represent all drugs with some medical use.

The least restricted is Schedule V, which includes medications like cough medicines with codeine; the most restrictive is Schedule II, which includes highly addictive drugs like morphine, cocaine, and methadone.

Cocaine

The Coca Shrub containing the alkaloid cocaine dates back millions of years. Historically the coca leaf was used as a mild stimulant; the leaf was chewed or chopped and kept on the gums creating a stimulatory effect similar to several cups of espresso. The Incas in Peru used the coca leaf in every part of their lives, using the juice of the leaf much as Americans use Coffee today. The stimulant Cocaine comes from the coca bush containing the alkaloid cocaine. The coca bush grows mainly on the slopes of the Andes Mountains in South America. However, there are a few bushes growing in the Amazon Jungle and on the island of Java in Indonesia. Though the growing area is relatively small, South America cultivates 97% of the world’s crop, while North America consumes 70%.

In 1861, Albert Nieman, a graduate student in Gottingen Germany isolated cocaine from the other chemicals in the coca leaf producing a chemical that is 200 times more powerful that drug produced an intense rush followed by ecstatic feelings and a powerful physical stimulation when injected, smoked snorted, absorbed through the gums, or drunk. However, It was not until twenty years later that the stage for widespread abuse of the drug manifested. Two factors played a roll in promoting the use of cocaine.

The physician Karl Koller discovered the anesthetic properties within the drug. Sigmund Freud promoted the usage of refined cocaine for various ailments such as:

  • Depression Gastric disorders, Asthma, Morphine and/or alcohol addiction.
  • These optimistic attitudes concerning cocaine were made early on in the experimental stages. Later, when the drug became more widely available, the true nature and liabilities became obvious.
  • The process of refining cocaine from the coca bush takes four to five steps:
  • Soaking the leaves in Lime for a few days.
  • Adding gasoline, kerosene or acetone to extract the nitrogenous alkaloids.
  • Discarding the waste leaves and adding in sulfuric or hydrochloric acid.
  • Mixing in lime and ammonia.
  • Last, adding a number of chemicals to separate the cocaine hydrochloride from the paste.
Cocaine on the Street

Cocaine on the street is rarely pure. Most often, the street dealer will add in adulterants to lower the purity of the drug from 80-90% pure to around 60% pure. Usually, this is to pay for their habit and/or make a few extra dollars. These additives can include:

Baby laxatives, Lactose, Vitamin B, Aspirin, Mannitol, Sugar, Tetracaine a topical anesthetic, Flower, Talcum powder

When the adultered drug is used intravenously, the additives are also placed into the bloodstream along with bacteria and viruses. Therefore, the hepatitis C infection rate for IV drug users is 50% to 90%. In addition, the use of cocaine also increases the risk of various other conditions especially AIDS because it increases viral infections and lowers CD4 counts.

Marijuana Marijuana History

Marijuana history dates back at least 10,000 years. The cannabis plant was used as medicine well before people started smoking marijuana. Read this article to find information on marijuana history, marijuana uses, and streeet names for marijuana.

The Cannabis plant also known as Hemp or Marijuana date back at least 10,000 years. The plants cultivation spread from its probable origin in China or Central Asia to almost every country in the world. Historically, Cannabis was prized as a source of fiber and oil, for its editable seeds and medicinal properties, producing materials such as:

Rope, Cloth, Roofing material, Floor coverings, and Paper.

Archaeologists have found traces of hemp fibers in various objects dating back as far as 4000 B.C. Moreover, the Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung , in 2737 B.C., studied and experimented with Cannabis as a medicine and recorded his studies reporting that, “Cannabis is not only a medication but also a substance with stupefying and hallucinogenic properties.”

Over the centuries Cannabis has been recommend for ailments such as:

Constipation, Rheumatism, Absentmindedness, Female disorders, Malaria, Beriberi, Wasting diseases.

The Scythians living around 500 BC threw Cannabis on hot stones placed in small tents and inhaled the vapors. Then, in India, the psychoactive properties of the plant established it as one of the five sacred plants giving long life, visions and freedom from distress. Later in 200 A.D., Cannabis was recommended as a painkiller for surgery.

While some botanists claim Cannabis sativa is the only true species of the genus Cannabis, many others agree on three distinct species of the plant:

  • Cannabis sativa – the most common species used as Marijuana
  • Cannabis indica – the source of most of the worlds hashish
  • Cannabis ruderalis
  • Cannabis sativa grows in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. A typical plant will produce 1-5 lbs of buds and smokable leaves containing high concentrations of the psychedelic resin “THC” the major active chemical in Marijuana causing mind-altering effects. Cannabis indica is a shorter plant and generally used for it’s fiber and most of the world’s hashish. Cannabis ruderalis is a small thin plant that has few psychoactive components.

The term “Marijuana” is the Mexican word for Cannabis and describes the mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers from the psychoactive species Cannabis Sativa. Whereas “Hemp” is the term generally used to describe the species high in fiber content. And “Hashish” is the sticky resin pressed into cakes.

Marijuana has many street names:

Pot, Buds, Herb, Joint, Chronic, Dank, The kind Grass, Ganja, Charas, Sens, Weed,Dope, Refer, Hash Oil, Boom, Mary Jane, MJ, Gangster, Sinsemilla, Maui wowie, Humboldt green, BC, bud, Buddha Thai, 420.

The effects of marijuana can act as a stimulant as well as a depressant depending on the variety and amount of chemical absorbed into the brain as well as where and when it is used and the personality of the user. Therefore, the effects can be unpredictable.

Some Effects of Marijuana:

Induces a feeling of mental separation from the environment, Drowsiness, Aloofness, Sedation, Some pain control, Produces a feeling of déjà vu, Distortion of the senses, Touch, Sight, Hearing, Time and depth,

Signs of marijuana usage include:

Bloodshot eyes, Coughing from lung irritation, Increase in appetite, Loss of muscular coordination, Dizziness, Giddiness, Users laugh at anything, funny or not, Acute thirst, Anxiety, Paranoia, Panic attacks, Difficulty retaining memory

Long term effects of marijuana use:

Chronic bronchitis,Increased risk of cancer, Slows learning, Frequent pneumonia, Infertility, Weakened immune system, Amotivational syndrome, Users loose interest in the future and stop caring,

LSD and Hallucinogens

LSD History

Lysergic acid diethylamide, known as LSD, is the most potent of the hallucinogens. This article contains information on LSD effects, LSD trips (or acid trips), the founder of LSD, the development of LSD, and LSD history.

LSD has the most unpredictable psychological effects including delusions and hallucinations, which are serious distortions in reality perception, LSD trips can be really good or really bad. Hallucinations may be aural and tactile, as well as visual. While it is not addictive, LSD does create tolerance, so that repeat users may need to take more to achieve the results previously achieved with less.

Drugs or substances that are not sold over the counter (OTC) are divided into five schedules, labeled with Roman numerals. Schedule I is for drugs for which there is no currently acceptable medical usage in the U.S. It includes, for example, heroin and marijuana. For Schedules II-V, all drugs with medical use, the least restricted is Schedule V, which includes medications like cough medicines with codeine; the most restrictive is Schedule II, which includes highly addictive drugs like morphine, cocaine, and methadone. LSD is placed in Schedule I.

The description of the origins of LSD is given by its discoverer, Swiss chemist Albert Hoffmann, in his manuscript LSD – My Problem Child. During researches into ergot, a fungus, for a pharmaceutical company, it became necessary to create lysergic acid synthetically. Because it was unstable, he created a number of different compounds with it. The twenty-fifth of these lysergic acid compounds, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25) was produced in 1938.

Because LSD-25 was not of immediate interest, testing was discontinued. Five years later, in 1943, convinced that it might have some additional use, Hofmann created another sample. And though he was meticulously careful, he had a very strange experience that day – a combination of restlessness and slight dizziness, which passed into a hallucinatory state that was very pleasant and lasted about 2 hours.

Hofman tentatively identified the experience as resulting from a small amount of LSD-25 being absorbed through his skin. But to be sure, he set out to test LSD-25 3 days later by ingesting some purposely, inducing the first purposeful LSD trip, and the first “bad trip” as well. However, after a period of terror in which he thought he’d been taken over by a demon, the pleasant state of the first time returned, again with kaleidoscopic images, etc.

LSD first came to the U.S. in 1949, and was used as an experimental drug in the 1950s and 60s to treat alcoholism, among other purposes. It reportedly was sold on the street beginning in 1963, and as increasing numbers of reports recorded adverse effects, first California in 1966 and then the federal government in 1967 restricted its use.

Heroin Heroin History

Heroin is an addictive drug, and heroin addiction is a serious problem in America. This article contains information on heroin history, founders of heroin, heroin uses, heroin effects, major producers of heroin, street names for heroin, and heroin statistics.

Recent studies suggest a shift from injecting heroin to snorting or smoking because of increased purity and the misconception that these forms are safer.

Heroin is the most addictive plant-derived drug.

In 1805 a German pharmacist, Frederick W. Serturner isolated morphine from opium, finding that the isolated compound was 10 times as strong as the original drug. Then in 1874, a British chemist C.R. Alder Wright refined heroin from morphine, in an attempt to find an effective painkiller without the addictive properties of morphine. Not much was done with the new drug until 1898 when an employee of Bayer and Company promoted heroin for medical purposes such as:

Coughs, Chest Pain, Tuberculosis, Pneumonia.

Unfortunately, heroin crosses the blood-brain barrier in a rapid and dramatic fashion. Therefore, the rush and euphoria from this drug comes on fast and intense. This caused a subculture of compulsive heroin users in the twentieth century. In fact, estimates suggest that around one million people abused opium, morphine and heroin shortly after the turn of the century.

The development of the hypodermic needle in 1853 increased the drugs use. Initially opiate’s were inserted just under the skin by injecting them subcutaneously. However, users found that intravenous use placed high concentrations of the drug directly into the bloodstream through the veins.

It takes 15-30 seconds for an injected opiate to affect the central nervous system.

A delay of 5-8 minutes occurs when injected just under the skin (subcutaneously) this is known as Skin popping

Muscling

The waves of immigrants from Europe introduced the habit of snorting heroin known as “sniffing” also called “insufflation and intranasal use”. This method of use places the drug into the nasal capillaries and then the central nervous system in about 5-8 minutes. Moreover heroin addicts were split evenly between “sniffers and shooters” until around the 1920’s.

Currently there are an estimated 120,000 to 800,000 heroin abusers and approximately 3.1 million Americans have tried heroin. In the United States most heroin comes from Mexico and Colombia. In addition, the U.S. consumes only 3% of the world’s supply.

The major producers of heroin are:

  • The Golden Crescent •Southwest Asian heroin from Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Afghanistan and
  • Pakistan is known as “Persian brown” or “Perze” and can be more than 90% pure
  • The Golden Triangle – the second largest producer and exporter of heroin produces what is known as China White and can be up to 99% pure.
  • Mexico – Since the 1940’s Mexico has been a major supplier of heroin in the United States producing light or dark brown heroin.

In the 1980’s a new form of Mexican heroin known as “Tar” or “Black Tar” took over a large part of the market. Tar Heroin is potent, 40 to 80% pure, containing more impurities than the Asian refinement of the drug and costs around $20 to $25 for a small chunk. Tar Heroin is sold as a gummy pasty substance rather than in the usual powder form. It dissolves readily in water and is more likely to be smoked. It is also called: Chapapote, Puta, Goma, Chiva, Puro.

Some street names for Heroin include:

H, Smack, Junk, Horse, Fix, Dope, Brown, Dog, Nod, China White, Black Tar, AIP, Al Capone, Antifreeze, Big doodig, China cat, Hard candy, Witch hazel, Tootsie roll

Methamphetamine Meth History

Methamphetamine – commonly referred to as meth but also known by the brand name, Methedrine® – is an addictive stimulant. Methamphetamines date back as far as 1919. Keep reading for more information on meth facts and meth history.

Related chemically to amphetamines, Methamphetamine does have some narrow medical uses: it is sometimes used to treat narcolepsy – a disorder in which the person falls suddenly into a deep sleep, attention deficit disorder, and as a short-term therapy for obesity, so while it has a high potential for abuse, it is available for legal use only through a non-refillable prescription.

It is important not to confuse methamphetamines with other drugs that have “meth” in their names: dymethzine and methatrial (injectable steroids) and methyltestosterone (an oral steroid); and ecstasy and its “relatives” which are:

  • Ecstasy – 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine
  • MDA – 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine
  • MDEA – 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-Ethylamphetamine

Since, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Methedrine® is used on the street to refer either to broad amphetamines (of which methamphetamine is one, but not the only one) and also to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), there is obviously some confusion in the identification of these substances among people who use them, and care must therefore be taken in identifying what “meth use” or “Methedrine® use” actually means.

Drugs or substances that are not sold over the counter (OTC) are divided into five schedules, labeled with Roman numerals. Schedule I is for drugs for which there is no currently acceptable medical usage in the U.S. It includes, for example, heroin, LSD, and marijuana. For Schedules II-V, all drugs with medical use, the least restricted is Schedule V, which includes medications like cough medicines with codeine; the most restrictive is Schedule II, which includes highly addictive drugs like morphine, cocaine, and methadone. Methamphetamine is classified as Schedule II.

The history of methamphetamine begins with the synthesis of amphetamines, according to “Methamphetamine: What we know about it, What we’re doing about it,” published by the Alberta (Canada) Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC) in 2006. Amphetamines were synthesized for the first time in 1887 by a Romanian chemist, Lazar Edeleanu, at the University of Berlin. Methamphetamine itself was first synthesized in 1919 by a Japanese research, A. Ogata and came to market in the 1930s as Bennzedrine®, an OTC inhaler for congestion.

Stimulant effects were reported in 1933 and amphetamine-related psychosis in 1938. This led to a change so that amphetamines required a prescription, beginning in 1939. In the 1940s, amphetamines were used to treat a variety of conditions. Methedrine® was released, and both amphetamines and methamphetamine were used to help World War II soldiers stay awake. The addictiveness of methamphetamine became clear after the war ended and the military supply of the substance was made publicly available in Japan.

Nevertheless, Methedrine® was joined by Dexedrine® in the 1950s, and both were used for several ills, as well as to enhance performance for athletes and people who needed to stay awake, such as truck drivers.

The sixties saw a surge in use, and the seventies included a crackdown, with supplies dropping, beginning with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. In the eighties, a new method of production was invented, increasing availability again.

Use grew through the nineties, with most of it coming from illegal laboratories, and therefore sometimes being of questionable quality. In the early 2000s, the number of laboratory seizures in the Northeastern U.S. alone was near to or over 100 and production in Mexico is reportedly stepped up as well.

Ecstasy / MDMA

MDMA (3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. Street names for MDMA include Ecstasy, Adam, XTC, hug, beans, and love drug.

It is one of the drugs known as “club drugs” for their frequent use in the nightlife scene of teens and young adults, chosen for its ability to create a euphoric state, reduce inhibitions, and create feelings of closeness and empathy. In 2005, it was the club drug most commonly abused, ahead of Rohypnol, GHB, and ketamine.

Ecstasy is mostly distributed in tablets. These tablets often contain other substances, such as methamphetamine, ketamine, caffeine, amphetamine, and MDA (3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine) – a substance much like ecstasy.

Ecstasy was made a Schedule I in 1998.

MDMA was, in fact, first synthesized at Merck in 1912, and was developed as a precursor to other substances with hemostatic properties – the ability to arrest bleeding. It was not tested pharmacologically, and was called Methylsafrylamin.

In the 1967, Dr. Alexander Shulgin who has invented, according to the Sunday Herald, “80% of the world’s known hallucinogenic drugs,” resynthesized MDMA, having heard it was considered a stimulant but didn’t act like one. During testing, he discovered its power to lower inhibition, and thinking it would be useful in psychotherapy, he provided samples to psychologists. At that time, the far-reaching and dangerous side effects were unknown. Thereafter, it was used legally for a period, including for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), until it was made illegal in 1985.

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