Several States Move to Ban Synthetic Drugs

As DEA Examines Synthetic Drugs’ Safety, Several States Make Their Own Laws

synthetic drugsBath salts, K2, molly – synthetic drugs are rampant in the US, and although the drugs can cause hallucinations, paranoia, and other terrible side effects, manufacturers of the drugs keep the chemical compounds one step ahead of law enforcement and therefore legal for all users, regardless of age.

Last year, the DEA made three specific synthetic drug compounds illegal in order to study their effects and prevent anyone, especially purchasers under the age of 18, from buying the drugs at “head shops,” in packages marked as “incense.” However, synthetic drug manufacturers, especially synthetic marijuana manufacturers, have already released numerous other versions of their drug, and law enforcement has a difficult time prosecuting users when they have not committed a crime.

Now, several states are taking drug enforcement into their own hands.

New Hampshire lawmakers have been working for months to perfect the language of a bill that would ban dangerous synthetic drugs in the state.

“I think we’ve got a very good start on this legislation,” said Senator Molly Kelly of Keene. “We’re a little hung up on the penalty and I think we can put our heads together and work something out there.”

Kelly added that education about the dangers of synthetic drugs is just as important as outlawing their use – especially when manufacturers of the drugs tweak the chemical compounds to stay one step ahead of the law.

In Detroit, Michigan, county officials declared “imminent danger” to residents in September, after they noticed a new synthetic drug, called Cloud 9, leading to dozens of emergency room visits due to overdose. The drug can be inhaled, or smoked using an e-cigarette.

County Executive Mark Hackel said he and law enforcement officials would meet with county lawmakers to create legislation around synthetic drugs, which have created problems for residents for years. Hackel said he issued a similar imminent danger warning two years ago when spice and K2 – two now-illegal versions of synthetic marijuana – entered Wayne County.

In Alaska, lawmakers have turned their focus away from the chemical composition of synthetic drugs and instead, as of Tuesday, October 14th, will ban “incense” based on its packaging. The new law imposes a fine on anyone in possession of a designer chemical drug that has a label like “not for human consumption.” Synthetic drugs are also often marketed under exciting names like “Mr. Happy,” “Dead Man Walking,” or “OMG.”

Fines will also be imposed if the label does not detail ingredients in the synthetic drug, or include the manufacturer’s contact information. If the label says the user will achieve euphoria, hallucinations, or mood enhancements, that is often an indication that the “incense” is actually a synthetic drug. Citations can go as high as $500.

The Strom Law Firm Can Defend Against Charges Involving Synthetic Drugs

If you or a loved one have been found with a synthetic drug, such as synthetic marijuana, K2, or spice, 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 charges for synthetic drugs 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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