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What constitutes an ephedrine drug charge in Louisiana?

Louisiana takes drug crimes seriously. The state has many specific criminal statutes involving various drugs and harsh penalties for persons convicted of drug offenses.

Specifically, Louisiana's statute regarding ephedrine imposes specific requirements regarding the drug's distribution, as well as potential harsh penalties in the event a person is convicted. Ephedrine is often used for breathing problems, as well as nasal congestion and asthma. Under Louisiana law, only specifically licensed practitioners may prescribe any products that contain ephedrine in any quantity, as well as salts of ephedrine, optical isomers of ephedrine or salts of those optical isomers.

Louisiana law has classified ephedrine as a Schedule V controlled dangerous substance. Therefore, the sale, distribution and dispensing of products containing ephedrine are tightly regulated under the law. There are exceptions for some specific ephedrine-containing products that may be sold over-the-counter.

However, it is prohibited to market, label or advertise ephedrine-containing products with promises of weight loss, appetite control, stimulation, mental alertness or energy. Despite this, exemptions may be granted if a manufacturer or distributor demonstrates that the product has a valid medicinal purpose and the product's marketing will not promote or encourage misuse of ephedrine.

A person who is convicted of an ephedrine-related drug charge under Louisiana law may face a prison sentence of up to six months, as well as a possible one thousand dollar fine. Conviction for a drug offense in Louisiana, whether drug manufacturing, drug distribution or other serious drug charge, can be life altering.

A defendant in Louisiana facing a drug charge may benefit from seeking out guidance about the criminal defense options available to him or her. This could help the accused collect necessary evidence to establish a strong defense. Ultimately, this could help the defendant reduce or dismiss the charges against them, helping them avoid serious consequences.

Source: Louisiana State Legislature, "RS 40:962.1," accessed May 6, 2016

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