Ecstasy and Methamphetamine Labs

  • Sentences and Punishment for Production of Methamphetamine or Ecstasy 
  • Common Defences

Sentences and Punishment for Production of Methamphetamine or Ecstasy

Maximum: Life imprisonment

Minimum: 2 years’ imprisonment

3 years’ imprisonment if:

  • property in which offence occurred belonged to someone else (ie was rented)
  • production created a hazard to any children at or near the property
  • production constituted a potential safety hazard in a residential area; or
  • the operation was booby trapped

As with marijuana grow operations, property seized may be subject to forfeiture. Any chemicals seized will of course be destroyed and, in the event of conviction, any lab equipment will be forfeited. Seized money may be subject to forfeiture as proceeds of crime. In some cases, the building or residence itself may be subject to forfeiture as proceeds of crime or “offence-related property”. See Recovery of Seized Property.

Last but not least, if you have a criminal record for a drug-related offence, you will be precluded from visiting the United States.

Alternatives to Jail
There are no alternatives to jail if you are found guilty of Production of Ecstasy or Methamphetamine because of the mandatory minimum penalties. There are, however, creative ways to negotiate a plea bargain to avoid the mandatory minimum sentences. For instance, those charged with Production of Methamphetamine or Ecstasy will also be charged with simple Possession or Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking. If the Crown prosecutor was prepared to “stay” or “drop” the Production charge and agree to take a plea to some form of Possession, absent certain aggravating factors, these offences carry no minimum punishment and non-custodial options would be available. See the Drug Trafficking and Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking section for the range of available sentences

Common Defences
Issues of search and seizure and evidence of possession feature highly in these cases. Invariably, a pillar of your defence will involve an attack upon the legality of the search. Another may be what evidence exists of your control over or involvement in the operation. Merely because you are found in a residence in which a chemical lab is located or because you live there is not determinative. Furthermore, police and Crown familiarity with chemical laboratories is still relatively low and acquittals can result from inadequate preparation on the part of the Crown Prosecutor or sloppy procedures on the part of the police. Moreover, unlike grow ops, the prosecution has to demonstrate the chemical “pathway” by which a drug was allegedly being manufactured at a given location. Missing ingredients can make securing a conviction difficult for the Crown, particularly where no finished product is seized.

The statement above is not legal advice. It is simply intended to give a very general understanding of this offence and some of the possible issues and defences that might be considered in defending it. For legal advice on ecstasy or methamphetamine labs, click here.