California Health and Safety Code Section 11351.5 - Interpretation

In People v. Bailey (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 459, the court rejected a challenge to the sufficiency of evidence to support a conviction of violating Health and Safety Code section 11351.5. There, again, the defendant was charged with, and found guilty of, possession for sale of "rock cocaine" in violation of section 11351.5. A police officer described the substance possessed by the defendant as rock cocaine. The criminalist testified that the substance contained cocaine but did not specify whether it was cocaine base. (Bailey, supra, at pp. 461-462.) In finding the evidence sufficient to support the conviction, the court distinguished Adams because in Bailey the police officer testified, without objection, that "'rock cocaine is -- it's cocaine base.'" ( Bailey, supra, at pp. 462-463.) The dissenting justice in Bailey believed that there was no basis for the officer's testimony equating rock cocaine with cocaine base and thus that there was insufficient evidence to support the verdict. (Bailey, supra, 1 Cal.App.4th at pp. 466-470.)