February 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- State and Federal Authorities Cracking Down on Synthetic Drugs
State and federal authorities once lagged behind on the growing synthetic drug trend. The constantly changing chemical compounds in synthetic drugs, which mimic either the effects of methamphetamine or marijuana, made it a legal high for many users, who could purchase them at smoke shops and gas stations. This is no longer the case. Growing alarm at the frequent use and corresponding dangers of synthetic drug use has prompted state and federal authorities to issue harsh punishments to those found selling or possessingsynthetic drugs.
These substances have been marketed as bath salts, incense and potpourri in order to pass legal inspection. In addition, many of these products are tweaked in molecular structure in order to bypass state laws that ban certain chemical compounds.
Recent media attention has prompted most state legislatures to ban these now-illegal substances. Infamous cases arose this summer where people high on bath salts attempted to cannibalize nearby pedestrians. Other users would repeatedly bang their heads against walls after using synthetic methamphetamine. Instances of synthetic drug-fueled violence also predominate the news.
Overdose is a serious risk when using synthetic drugs. People familiar with synthetic drugs have described their effects as prompting "psychotic" behavior. In addition, synthetic drugs are thought to be highly addictive. Side effects include rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, chest pains, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia and delusions. Poison control centers reported receiving 6,138 calls regarding synthetic drug emergencies in 2011, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Law Enforcement Crackdown
Pennsylvania was one of the first states to ban bath salts and other synthetic drugs, doing so in the summer of 2011. Selling a banned synthetic drug carries a penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Possessing a banned synthetic drug is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
The most recent nationwide crackdown on synthetic drugs occurred in July. In the July raid, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office served more than 50 search warrants to businesses in Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland, Philadelphia, Lehigh, Luzerne, Montgomery and Northampton counties for selling synthetic drugs.
Arrested in Connection With Synthetic Drugs?
These dangerous drugs are increasingly popular with teenagers and young adults. Those arrested in connection with selling or possessing synthetic drugs should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney to understand their legal options in the face of potentially devastating consequences.
Article provided by Applebaum & Associates
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