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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:During a search of appellant’s house, conducted in conjunction with the arrest of her husband on an outstanding warrant, police officers found in an open closet a clear glass jar filled with a cloudy liquid. When the officers inquired as to the contents of the glass jar, appellant replied that it contained “liquid with dope in it.” Appellant was placed under arrest, and the officers searched her and discovered a white powder in her pants pocket. Appellant’s husband then led the officers to the attic, which housed several items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, including an Everclear bottle which he admitted was being used as a pill soak and several boxes of suphedrine pills. Authorities charged appellant with possession in the amount of more than 400 grams. In 2001, a jury convicted appellant of possession of methamphetamine of less than 400 grams but more than 200 grams, and the trial court sentenced her to imprisonment for life. At the time of her conviction, the definition of a controlled substance was: “[A] substance, including a drug, an adulterant, a dilutant, an immediate precursor, listed in Schedules I through V or Penalty Groups 1, 1-A, or 2 through 4. The term includes the aggregate weight of any mixture, solution, or other substance containing a controlled substance.” Tex. Health & Safety Code �481.002(5) (Vernon Supp. 2000). Appellant appealed her conviction, claiming that the evidence was insufficient to prove that the aggregate weight of the substance possessed was more than 200 grams and that �481.002(5) was unconstitutional in failing to give notice that unusable, toxic liquids were included in the weight of a controlled substance. The 11th Court of Appeals affirmed appellant’s conviction in an unpublished opinion, which, the Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) concluded on review, did not adequately address her arguments. The CCA vacated the judgment and remanded the case for further consideration of appellant’s claims. The CCA directed the court to conduct a statutory-construction analysis of �481.002(5) as part of appellant’s sufficiency challenge, and to undertake an analysis of appellant’s constitutional claims. On remand, the court of appeals again affirmed appellant’s conviction. The CCA granted appellant’s petition for discretionary review. She claims that the court of appeals did not comply with the CCA’s previous order by failing to determine whether the definition of the term “controlled substance” in �481.002(5) leads to an absurd result the legislature could not have intended. The court agreed that the court of appeals did not undertake a sufficient statutory-construction analysis. The court then resolved the issues that appellant presented for review. HOLDING:Affirmed. The CCA stated that courts must interpret an unambiguous statute literally, unless doing so would lead to an absurd result that the legislature could not have intended. By beginning with the plain language of a statute to interpret its meaning, courts “seek to effectuate the”collective’ intent or purpose of the legislators who enacted the legislation.” However, if a literal reading of the statute would lead to an absurd result, or if the language is not plain but rather ambiguous, then it is constitutionally permissible for a court to consider, in arriving at a sensible interpretation, such extratextual factors as executive or administrative interpretations of the statute or legislative history. Because the court of appeals failed to conduct statutory construction analysis, the CCA reviewed whether, given the facts of the instant case, appellant’s conviction for over 200 grams is such an “absurd result.” The court cited an earlier precedent stating that “the literal meaning of the legislature’s adulterant and dilutant definition is that any substance that is added to or mixed with a controlled substance, regardless of when, how, or why that substance was added, may be added to the aggregate weight of the controlled substance as an adulterant or dilutant.” “The case before us is even more straightforward because the toxic liquid mixed with the methamphetamine in this case is a necessary part of the manufacturing process. If it is not absurd to define adulterant and dilutant as including waste product left over after the drug is used, then it clearly is not absurd to include byproducts necessary to the manufacturing process in that definition. We . . . conclude that it does not lead to an absurd result to include the unusable toxic liquids in the aggregate weight of the controlled substance.” OPINION:Meyers, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Keller, P.J., and Price, Womack, Johnson, Keasler, Hervey, and Cochran, J.J. join. DISSENT:Holcomb, J. “It would be irrational . . . to consider unusable, unmarketable, toxic, or waste material as an adulterant or dilutant that increases the bulk of the controlled substance. By definition, the waste product is what is left over after the drug has been manufactured, delivered, or consumed. It is function, not form, that counts. An adulterant or dilutant functions as an aid to drug distribution or use, not as a dangerous deterrent to a drug’s consumption.”

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