SC Store Owners Face Drug Charges for Synthetic Marijuana

Undercover Reporting Shows Several Stores Illegally Sell Synthetic Marijuana in South Carolina

Synthetic Marijuana BanThe week of Thanksgiving, WIS reported that the news station’s undercover investigation into drug sales in South Carolina revealed that several “head shops” and other stores in the state are illegally selling forms of synthetic marijuana, including chemical compounds banned by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

WIS received tips from concerned viewers who noticed that their children were using synthetic marijuana known as K-2 or Spice, which they had purchased locally. Last year, the DEA banned the specific chemical formula behind K-2, as well as two other chemical formulas for synthetic marijuana. The federal agency added that cracking down on synthetic marijuana is difficult because drug dealers will just create a new chemical compound that is, according to federal and state law, technically legal. Synthetic marijuana is then sold in many different types of shops, especially “head shops,” and labeled as incense or potpourri.

“I can’t stress enough, all they have to do is make a minor alteration to these chemicals and then it’s an all new chemical, a potential new drug and it has to go through the process of being labeled a controlled substance,” said South Carolina DEA agent Robert Murphy said.

“Look at the names. Black Diamond, Mad Hatter, Triple X, The Joker. It’s poison and it’s marketed for our children,” said Murphy, a DEA assistant special agent-in-charge. He pointed out the names on the sign after seeing video footage from inside in Time Warp, a chain of head shops in South Carolina. “They are calling them Scooby Snax, and they are selling it as potpourri.”

Timewarp store owner Jerry Baker claims that the synthetic marijuana accusations come from “false propagandists” and that lab results show that his incense and potpourri do not contain banned substances. The WIS news team is still waiting for copies of those lab results.

Pete Strom, founder and managing partner of the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C., weighed in on the synthetic marijuana story. The Strom Law Firm defends criminal drug charges, but Mr. Strom says there are limits to what is defensible, especially when a new and sensitive drug charge like synthetic marijuana is involved.

“Somehow, trying to say you have to burn it [the drug] in an incense burner, doesn’t get him out of anything,” Strom said. “No disclaimer works. You’re not going to get yourself out of trouble for violating criminal law by writing on the back of the package ‘not for human consumption’ or ‘don’t smoke this’.”

Mr. Strom also noted that Baker could face drug distribution charges for every customer who purchased synthetic marijuana from him. “Literally every customer could be a distribution charge,” he said.

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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