January 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Washington State bans synthetic marijuana and bath salts
The Washington State Department of Health recently announced a ban on two substances that were legal up until now: synthetic marijuana and bath salts. The substances were commonly sold in tobacco and head shops as "Spice," "K-2," "Plant Food," Ivory Wave" and "White Lightening." The ban, which goes into effect no later than November 3, gives law enforcement the power to prosecute for the manufacture, distribution, sale and possession of these substances.
According to the Washington Board of Pharmacy, bath salts were sold as a legal alternative to illegal drugs. The product contains certain chemicals that mimic the effects of methamphetamine, cocaine or ecstasy. Like these illegal drugs, users often snort the substance to get high.
"Spice" and "K-2" are types of synthetic marijuana. "Synthetic marijuana" is actually a misnomer as it is not derived from the cannabis plant and does not contain any THC--the active ingredient in marijuana. Instead, the substance is actually a chemical that is usually sprayed onto incense or other herbs and smoked.
According to authorities, the ban is needed to protect the public from unregulated and dangerous drugs. Both drugs have been shown to cause elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, hallucinations, paranoia and other harmful effects. The usage of both drugs has been blamed for causing motor vehicle accidents, self-mutilations, suicides and homicides across the state.
About the ban
The ban is designed to address problems that law enforcement has had nationwide in cracking down on bath salts and synthetic marijuana. As law enforcement identified specific substances in the synthetic drugs that were harmful and worked to ban it, manufacturers of the drugs would slightly alter the composition of the drug to get around the ban.
The Washington ban gets around this problem by not only listing specific substances that are banned, but also bans "synthetic substances, derivatives and their isomers with similar chemical structure and pharmacological activity." Therefore, the ban would apply even if a synthetic drug manufacturer tried to alter its formula to exclude anything that was not specifically mentioned in the law.
The ban works by classifying synthetic marijuana, bath salts and related chemical compounds as Schedule I controlled substance under the Washington Controlled Substances Act. The manufacture, delivery or possession of a Schedule I controlled substance--that is not a narcotic under the act--is a drug crime punishable as a Class C felony, which carries a term of imprisonment for five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
Consult an attorney
Like any other drug, if you have been arrested for possession of synthetic marijuana or bath salts, it is important to seek professional advice. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can analyze the evidence against you, prepare an effective defense and ensure that your rights are protected.
Article provided by Twyford Law Office
Visit us at http://www.twyfordlaw.com---
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