36-year-old and 31-year-old (names withheld for privacy) were arrested on suspicion of possession of powdered MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy or “X”) after police were called to the 3300 block of Madison Street in Bernal Heights. An unidentified resident of the building had refused entry to a man earlier in the day who then broke a window on the first floor, leaving traces of blood behind. The trail of blood led local law enforcement to an apartment on the second floor, where they found both men, one of them with blood still on his clothing and hands. Police were attempting to do a routine “well-being” check, and noticed that there were several containers of drugs lying around the apartment in plain sight. The two men were arrested for possession of a controlled substance for the purposes of distribution (CA Health & Safety Code 11377) conspiracy, and maintaining a place for selling or using a controlled substance.
In the state of California, MDMA is considered a Schedule I drug, one that has the potential to be highly addictive and has no medical use. However, back in the 1970s and 1980s, the drug was widely used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. It is less common for law enforcement officials to find this drug in powder form (as in this case) than in pill form. Possession of ecstasy (or any other controlled substance) is a “wobbler” in California, meaning that it can be considered a felony or a misdemeanor charge, depending on the circumstances of the case. If both men are found guilty of misdemeanor possession of MDMA (which is unlikely, considering the amount found in the apartment), they could be looking at up to one year in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. If convicted of felony charges, then they could be facing up to 3 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.