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There has been a rise of synthetic drug use. According to California law, it is prohibited to sale synthetic or designer drugs. Within the past few years, California has seen problems that arise from synthetic drug use. In April of 2016, 35 overdoses were reported in California due to synthetic drugs. These drugs may include synthetic stimulants and cannabis. Under California law, the sale of synthetic drugs is a misdemeanor under the following codes:
California Health and Safety Code 11357.5: The sale of synthetic cannabis
California Health and Safety Code 11375.5: The sale of synthetic marijuana
The California Health and Safety Code 11375.5 and 11357.5 state that it is illegal to sell, dispense, furnish, distribute, administer, and possess for sale any synthetic drugs. Simple possession of synthetic drugs, which are in an individual’s possession for personal use, is not illegal under California law. However, possession of synthetic drugs is illegal under federal laws.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has seen a rise in the manufacturing of synthetic drugs over the past few years. Many of these drugs are made in illegal labs and sold in gas stations, on the Internet, and smoke shops. These drugs are usually sold in packages that are advertised as a safe alternative to dangerous drugs. However, many synthetic drugs are marketed with a disclaimer that states “not intended for human consumption,” which is to protect distributers being sued.
Federal Law: Possession of Synthetic Drugs
According to United States Code 811.22, synthetic cannabinoids and stimulants are illegal through the Controlled Substances Act.
The difference between the Controlled Substance Act and California law regarding synthetic drugs is that the Controlled Substance Act makes possession of synthetic drugs for personal use illegal. If an individual is charged with possession for personal use, he or she can face the following penalties:
A minimum fine of $1,000.
One year in a federal prison.
If an individual is charged with possession with intent to sell, which is known as trafficking, then he or she will be charged with a felony and could face:
A maximum fine of $1,000,000.
A maximum sentence of twenty years in federal prison.
The federal law on synthetic drugs also includes any any drug offense that takes place on property that is federally owned in California. These properties can include:
Federal assisted housing
Defense Against Synthetic Drug Charges
Federal and state laws regarding synthetic drugs are complicated, and there are a variety of circumstances that can have an impact on what kind of case a prosecutor will use in court. If an individual who has been charged for a synthetic drug crime does not have a defense attorney who has experience in these cases, then he or she is at an increased risk for facing maximum sentences and fines. An experienced attorney has the ability to investigate synthetic drug cases and build a solid defense for his or her clients. There are many circumstance where a skilled attorney can prove there is not a valid reason to prosecute under the law, and these synthetic drug cases are often dismissed.
Although synthetic drugs can be hazardous to an individual’s health, there are many factors that make every synthetic drug case unique. At times people can be misguided by others, or there are those who were attempting to find a legal way to use drugs. These individuals should get help from a legal team who has experience handling synthetic drug cases. For those who are facing synthetic drug charges, receiving help from the best legal counsel in Los Angeles is vital.