California law allows some drug offenders to participate in a drug diversion program (Deferred Entry of Judgement, PC 1000) to get the case dismissed. A defendant who is otherwise eligible by meeting the requirements set forth in the penal code may be considered for deferred entry of judgment if charged for a violation or attempted violation of one of the following offenses pursuant to Penal Code section 1000 (This information is provided courtesy of the Torrance Drug Possession Attorney):
• Health & S C §11350—possession of designated controlled substances formerly classified as narcotics.
• Health & S C §11357—possession of concentrated cannabis or marijuana. Note: Health & S C §11357(b) provides for a separate diversion scheme for offenses involving small amounts of marijuana.
• Health & S C §11358—cultivation of marijuana, if the marijuana cultivated is for personal use.
• Health & S C §11364—possession of drug paraphernalia (including smoking devices and pipes).
• Health & S C §11365—presence in room or place where designated controlled substances are being used, with knowledge of and while aiding, assisting, or abetting the use of the controlled substances.
• Health & S C §11368—generation and use of forged or altered prescription to obtain a narcotic drug, if the narcotic drug secured by the fictitious prescription is for personal use and was not sold or furnished to another.
• Health & S C §11377—possession of designated controlled substances formerly classified as restricted dangerous drugs (For example methamphetamines, vicodin, hydrocodone).
• Health & S C §11550—use or under the influence of designated controlled substances except when administered by or under the direction of a person licensed to dispense, prescribe, or administer controlled substances (Health & S C §11550(a)); under the influence of cocaine, cocaine base, heroin, or methamphetamine while in the immediate personal possession of a loaded, operable firearm (Health & S C §11550(e)).It should be noted that according to one Torrance Drug Possession Lawyer, Deferred entry of judgment is not available to defendants charged with both being under the influence of phencyclidine or designated analogs of phencyclidine, and with either battery of a peace officer or other designated persons engaged in the performance of their duties (Penal Code §243(b) or (c)) or being under the influence of drugs while in the immediate personal possession of a loaded, operable firearm (Health & Safety Code §11550(e)). Health & Safety Code §11550(g).
• Pen C §381—under the influence of toluene or similar substance.
• Pen C §647(f)—under the influence of a controlled substance in a public place.
• Pen C §653f(d)—solicitation of another person to commit designated controlled substance offenses, if the solicitation was for acts directed to personal use only.
• Veh C §23222(b)—possession of one ounce or less of marijuana while driving a motor vehicle.
• Business & Professions Code §4060—possession of controlled substance without prescription.
Critics of the current policy on drug diversion claim that the problem is exacerbated by a lack of public knowledge regarding the abuse of prescription pharmaceuticals. In the recent Florida case of Rush Limbaugh, who was accused of painkiller abuse, critics also argued that the line between pharmaceutical opiates and street opiate remains vague in current law. Prescription painkillers can be stronger than the opiates, mostly heroin, which are sold as part of the illegal drug trade. While the purity of illegal opiates can vary widely, pharmaceutical manufacturing results in a uniform potency and benefits from government oversight, a factor which decreases the perceived danger of prescription pharmaceuticals.