Washington DC recently passed the “Sale of Synthetic Drugs Emergency Amendment Act of 2015” amid concerns about the safety of synthetic drug use. The new law punishes any business that sells synthetic versions of regulated drugs such as cannabis or marijuana.
What Are Synthetic Drugs?
Synthetic drugs are inexpensive versions of prohibited drugs. The synthetic compounds mimic the effects of regulated and prohibited drugs and are reportedly more potent hallucinogens. These substances are reportedly locally available in liquor stores and gas stations and are marketed under various names such as K2, Scooby Snax, Bizzaro, or Spice.
Reported side effects associated with synthetic drug use include:
- Severe altered mental state
- Irregular heartbeat
Penalties for Sale of Synthetic Drugs
The immediate passage of the new synthetic drug law is the result of a perceived link between the availability of these chemical compounds and the increased crime rate in the community.
Businesses that are caught selling synthetic drugs may face harsh penalties for a first offense including the payment of steep fines of up to $20,000. The new law also includes a two-strike policy that punishes second-time offenders with the possible revocation of their licenses – effectively closing down their businesses.
Drug Crimes Defenses
If you are accused of violating the provisions of the synthetic drugs law of 2015, you are entitled to a defense for the protection of your rights and interests. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the charges, it is possible to question the outcome of drug tests because alleged synthetic substances containing several ingredients may significantly impact the analysis.
Other defenses may include questioning the legality of an arrest or search, and entrapment.
In the District of Columbia and Maryland, the criminal defense law firm of Lotze Mosley, LLP has a combined experience of 25 years, focusing on criminal defenses against a wide range of crimes such as fraud, gun crimes, sex crimes, violent crimes, domestic violence, theft, and embezzlement. We also handle the criminal defense of persons charged with traffic offenses (DUI).