Methamphetamines as Weapons of Mass Destruction

| August 15, 2003

A warning sign on the brink of a slippery slope, Martin Dwayne Miller has made North Carolina history as the first meth producer charged under a state law prohibiting production of weapons of mass destruction.

Watauga County Sheriff Mark Shook unveiled what he called, 'a big surprise for meth producers' in charging Miller under the antiterrorist law that defines a chemical weapon as 'any weapon, device, method, or substance that is designed or has the capability to cause death or serious injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals or their immediate precursors.' Under normal drug laws, reports Kathleen McFadden in The Mountain Times, a meth producer would probably get six months in prison. Conviction under the antiterrorist law could result in 12 years to life.

'I understand the title of the statute is antiterrorism, but the statute is much more broad than that,' District Attorney Jerry Wilson tells The Village Voice. Apart from the obvious potential for laws, such as the PATRIOT Act, to slip into areas completely unrelated to terrorism, eroding American civil liberties, there is also the social and economic costs of prisons: The Department of Justice reports that prisoners sentenced on drug-related crimes already account for 55 percent of federal inmates and 20 percent of state inmates.
-- Joel Stonington

Go there>> Upping The Ante On Meth Producers

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