Colorado Cracks Down on Synthetic Marijuana

Colorado Legislators and Doctors Meet to Close Legal Loophole for Synthetic Marijuana

ColoradoOn Monday, December 2nd, legislators and doctors met to find a way to close a loophole in Colorado’s laws that allows the sale of synthetic marijuana and other drugs over the counter in specialty stores and convenience stores across the state.

Synthetic marijuana continues to be sold in Colorado despite a new law supposedly banning the drug. Several stores in Denver alone continue to sell Spice, also known as Black Mamba and K2. The state law also prohibits the sale of chemicals that have a similar effect to listed versions of synthetic marijuana.

However, testing synthetic marijuana for prohibited chemicals is, according to local police departments, extremely expensive – as much as $10,000 per test. This keeps local police from enforcing the law as much as they should. That allows convenience stores in the state to continue to sell synthetic marijuana, even to kids.

Although synthetic marijuana contains a drug that is chemically similar to the organic variety – which is currently legal for recreational use in Colorado, although legislators are still figuring out the best way to regulate sale of the drug – it can have devastating consequences. In August and September of this year alone, 273 people were hospitalized after using synthetic marijuana, after suffering seizures or heart problems. Three people have died from using the drug.

“When (Spice) is this easily available, in just a storefront, I think it enhances the perception that this is safe,” said Colorado Senator Irene Aguilar.

Tom Raynes with the Colorado District Attorney’s Council stressed the need for additional state funding to support local police departments, so police can afford to test synthetic marijuana and other drugs being sold in the stores, and ultimately arrest the store owners. “You need people on the street, you need the resources to pay for the testing,” Raynes said.

Another common problem is that manufacturers of synthetic drugs will often keep up with laws, and slightly alter the chemicals in their drugs to avoid the law.

“The individuals know when we are getting close to controlling or regulating one of these synthetic cannabinoids, they will watch for it in the federal register,” Roger Ely, a chemist with the Drug Enforcement Administration said. “From there, they will then find a new compound that is not on the radar and they will start marketing that in the same product.”

The Strom Law Firm Can Help Defend Against Drug Charges Involving Synthetic Marijuana

If you or a loved one have been found with synthetic marijuana, or other synthetic drugs, you could face criminal charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony, depending on how much of the drug was on your person, and what your intent was with the drug. The drug crimes attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. Do not let drug charges for synthetic marijuana hurt your reputation or your future aspirations. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800

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