Spice, K2, and Synthetic Marijuana in Texas
It has long been illegal to possess or distribute marijuana in Collin County, Texas. Even possessing less than two ounces of marijuana may subject a Collin County resident to a fine of $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. These penalties double for possessing up to four ounces of marijuana, and continue to ratchet up depending on the quantity involved.
What Is “Synthetic Marijuana”?
In recent years, many Texas residents have turned to synthetic marijuana in an attempt to circumvent the state’s ban on marijuana possession. “Synthetic marijuana” does not refer to a single drug or compound. Instead, it refers to products marketed under a variety of different names, such as K2, Spice, and Black Mamba, that are used to simulate the effects of marijuana. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, synthetic marijuana—or “synthetic cannabinoids”—are “related to chemicals found in the marijuana plant,” notably THC, the compound commonly associated with marijuana’s mind-altering properties. These chemicals are commonly sprayed on shredded plant material to make it look like naturally grown marijuana.
Synthetic marijuana is often more harmful than the real thing, due in large part to the wide variety of toxic chemicals used by its producers. In 2014, Texas authorities noted that approximately 120 people in Austin and Dallas overdosed on K2, a popular form of synthetic marijuana. As a result of this and similar reports, the Texas legislature has added “controlled substance analogues” to the list of illegal drugs. This includes most forms of synthetic marijuana and any other “substance with a chemical structure substantially similar to the chemical structure of a controlled substance.”
What Should I Do If I’m Arrested for Synthetic Marijuana Possession in Collin County?
If you are charged with possession of synthetic marijuana, you need to take the matter seriously. The criminal penalties for possession of a controlled substance analogue is generally the same as the actual controlled substance. In other words, possession of up to two grams of any product deemed “substantially similar” to marijuana may land you in jail for six months.
That is why it is important to speak with a Collin County drug offense attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, there may be one or more viable defenses available to you. For example, the prosecution must prove the chemicals found in your possession were in fact “substantially similar” to an already illegal drug. This requires expert testimony that can be challenged in court.
If you are facing any type of drug offense charge, contact the offices of Rosenthal Barbieri, to speak with a Collin County criminal defense lawyer right away.