Michigan Ephedrine / Ephedra Defense Attorneys

In both state and federal courts, Michigan Ephedrine violations are serious.  They all carry possible jail or prison time.  They all carry potential loss of driving privileges, even if no automobile is involved.  If you are being investigated for a drug crime, you need a good drug crime attorney.  If you are charged with an Ephedrine Crime, we can help.  the attorneys at Kronzek & Cronkright have been defending clients with drug crime prosecutions for decades.  Call us at (866) 766-5245.

Ephedra / Ephedrine Crimes

Ephedra, or “Ma Huang,” is a plant that grows throughout the regions of central Asia. For thousands of years, people in Asia ingested Ephedra as a medication to cure colds and other sicknesses. Ephedrine is one of the active ingredients in the Ephedra plant. In 1885, a Japanese chemist was the first person to isolate Ephedrine from Ephedra.

If you have been charged with an Ephedra-related drug crime in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Lansing, Oakland County, or throughout Michigan, we can help.

Medicinal Use

Western culture picked up on the medicinal uses of Ephedrine and today countries like China produce large amounts of the plant Ephedra to export to other countries. Medications containing Ephedrine were first created to combat congestion, asthma, and other cold symptoms. They are still legally used for those purposes today. However, there are certain restrictions for purchasing and using medications containing Ephedrine and a similar compound Pseudoephedrine. This is because, in large quantities, Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine are used all over Michigan to manufacture or “cook” the drug Methamphetamine or meth.

During his presidency, George W. Bush signed the “Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005” into law. This Act regulates the sale of medicines containing Ephedrine. Medications with Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine are kept behind the pharmacy counter and buyers must show their driver’s license or other identification and sign a logbook in order to buy them.

Federal Limits on Ephedrine Purchases

It is a federal crime to purchase more than 3.6 grams or more of Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine-based medication in one day or 9 grams or more in one month. This is the case even if you are purchasing the medication for a medical use or if you are purchasing it for another person. If you have been charged with this federal drug crime, you could go to jail for up to 1 year or pay a fine of up to $1,000, or both. However, if you have one prior drug charge on your record, you could be imprisoned from 15 days to 2 years and will be fined at least $2,500, and if you have two or more prior drug charges on your record, you could be imprisoned from 90 days to 3 years and will be fined at least $5,000. It is also a federal violation for a registered drug manufacturer to manufacture Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine-based medication if they are not authorized to do so or to manufacture more than they are authorized to create. Any person who violates this provision will be fined a civil fine of up to $25,000, and any company that violates this provision will be fined a civil fine of up to $250,000 or more if this is not the company’s first violation of this law.

Michigan Regulations for Purchase of Ephedrine

Michigan also has its own laws regarding Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine-based medications. It is a Michigan crime to possess more than 12 grams of Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine, unless it is in the form of a children’s medication, you have government permission, or you have a prescription. This Michigan crime is a felony and you could go to prison for up to 2 years or pay a fine of up to $2,000, or both. In Michigan, it is illegal to sell, distribute or deliver any product containing Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine to a person if the sale takes place through the mail, internet, telephone, or other electronic manner. This does not include places authorized by law to do so, children’s medication, or when the buyer has a valid prescription. This drug crime is a felony and you could go to prison for up to 4 years or pay a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Michigan also has very strict laws for pharmacies about how they must secure and store the Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine-based medications. Drug stores, retailers or pharmacies that violate these provisions in Michigan can be charged a civil fine of $50 for each violation. Pharmacies are also required to follow the law when it comes to how much Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine-based products they can give away, to whom they can sell those medications, and where they must place a notice of this law. Breaking this law is also a $50 fine for the pharmacy.

Sometimes, Ephedrine can be found in a form that is not a regular, legal over-the-counter cold medication or a dietary supplement. If that is the case, Michigan law classifies the Ephedrine substance as a Schedule 5 .

As a result of social pressures against dietary products containing Ephedra and Ephedrine, the federal government reacted. In 2004, Congress banned the sale of dietary supplement products that contained Ephedra or Ephedrine, stating that these dietary supplements have an unreasonable risk of illness or injury. Dietary supplements are now marketed as “Ephedra substitutes,” where Ephedra is replaced with other herbal stimulants such as “Bitter Orange,” and Ephedrine is created synthetically and not from Ephedra or its alkaloids. Health enthusiasts generally feel that no current weight loss product is as effective as Ephedra or Ephedrine. Popular dietary supplements such as Hydroxycut and Metabolift now contain a large amount of caffeine.

It is illegal in Michigan to give or sell Ephedrine-based dietary supplements to a person under 18 years old. This is a misdemeanor and you could go to jail for up to 93 days or pay a fine of up to $100, or both. This law does not apply to a physician or pharmacist who prescribes or dispenses these supplements, a parent who gives the products to the minor, or to a person who is authorized by the parents to give the products to the minor. It is also unlawful in Michigan to advertise dietary products containing Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine by saying that the user will experience: euphoria, ecstasy; a “buzz” or “high,” an altered mental state, heightened sexual performance, or increased muscle mass. This is a misdemeanor and you could go to jail for up to 93 days or pay a fine of up to $100, or both.

As you can see, Ephedra and Ephedrine-based products are heavily regulated both because they are used to manufacture or “cook” Methamphetamine and because they can cause health problems when used as a dietary supplement. If you have been charged in Michigan with a drug crime involving Ephedrine, you need an attorney who is very familiar with both the federal and state laws on Ephedrine. Our criminal defense team handles drug crime cases all over Michigan and we are prepared to help you.

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