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Laws surrounding synthetic drugs continue to confuse many

When Minnesota lawmakers head back to the capital later this month, they will be met with a bill calling for tougher laws and penalties surrounding the manufacturing and selling of so-called synthetic drugs. Many Minneapolis residents have likely heard about some of the more popular forms of synthetic drugs which are often marketed to consumers under names such as K2, Spice and Bath Salts.

Synthetic drugs are relatively new and upon hitting the marketplace, were legally sold in head-shops throughout the state. Since that time, many Minnesota teens and young adults have purchased and tried these legal forms of marijuana and amphetamines. However, while sold legally, synthetic drugs have been proven to have dangerous side effects which include psychosis, heart attack and death.

Despite the known negative side effects of synthetic drugs, the laws surrounding their legality are complex, confusing and ever-changing. Drug laws governing synthetic drugs often outlaw very specific formulations of a drug or ban the use of certain chemical compounds. Having these types of ambiguous drug laws, however, means that head-shop owners or those found in possession of synthetic drugs may unknowingly be in possession of an illegal substance.

Individuals facing criminal charges related to the manufacturing, selling or possession of synthetic drugs may face serious penalties such as time behind bars and years of probation. For these reasons, individuals arrested on drug charges related to synthetic drugs would be wise to consult with a criminal defense attorney who can examine the facts of a case and help in defending an individual’s rights.

Source: MinnPost, "Minnesota lawmakers move to get tough(er) on synthetic drugs," Sarah T. Williams, Jan. 30, 2014

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