Designer Drug

Designer drugs like “molly,” “bath salts” and “MDMA” are always changing. It is challenging to understand which designer drugs are illegal in North Carolina and which are not. According to the DEA, designer drugs are synthesized drugs that are different than controlled substances. Designer drugs are often referred to by slang terms. If you are facing a drug charge involving designer drugs, it is important to know whether the drug you allegedly used or possessed is actually illegal in North Carolina.

Popular Types of Designer Drugs in North Carolina

Currently, U-47700, nicknamed “pinky” or “pink” is a designer drug that is a synthetic opioid. It looks like a light pink or white powder. Synthetic marijuana or spice is another popular designer drug that consists of plant materials sprayed with synthetic psychoactive chemicals. Flakka, also known as alpha-PVP is another dangerous designer drug. Flakka is commonly referred to as bath salts and is usually sold in crystallized form.

Bath Salts

Bath salts are particularly popular designer drugs. New types of bath salts include 25-I and 2-C-I. These synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous and make people who take them sicker and more violent. Synthetic bath salts can cause heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and deaths from overdoses.


Spice is a slang term that refers to several different types of products that contain dried plants and chemical additives. Using spice is similar to smoking marijuana, but it is much more dangerous. The use of spice can result in confusion, vomiting, and increased heart rate. The federal government and North Carolina have banned the sale and recreational use of spice.

K-2 Designer Drug

K-2 is another popular designer drug that is illegal in North Carolina. K-2 is marijuana sprayed with chemical additives. Commonly known as “fake weed,” K-2 contains a synthetic mixture of psychotropic drugs mixed with dried herbs. K-2 can cause seizures and severe hallucinations.

Chemically Altered Fentanyl Products

North Carolina recently passed the Synthetic Opioid and Other Dangerous Drug Control Act. The law makes all fentanyl products that have been chemically altered illegal. The law lists 12 different compounds of synthetic fentanyl hallucinogens illegal and listed as Schedule 1 controlled substances.

If you are facing drug charges for chemically altered fentanyl, it is essential to hire a skilled attorney as soon as possible. When the specific type of designer drug is not listed in the law as illegal, prosecutors may not be able to bring charges. The following 12 types of altered fentanyl are illegal under North Carolina’s new law:

  • Furanyl Fentany
  • Butyryl Fentanyl
  • Beta-Hydroxythiofentanyl
  • Acrylfentanyl
  • Valeryl Fentanyl
  • Fluorofentanyl
  • Fluorofentanyl
  • tetrahydrofuran fentanyl
  • 4-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl
  • 4-fluorobutyryl fentanyl
Laws Regarding Designer Drugs

Every year, new types of designer drugs come on the market. The laws regarding designer drugs are always changing to accommodate the many different types of new designer drugs. North Carolina lawmakers banned synthetic drugs in 2011. Nonetheless, many stores continue to sell synthetic drugs labeled as potpourri, herbal incense, or bath salts. Products that can be turned into synthetic designer drugs are extremely easy to get.

What happens when a consumer alters a readily available consumer product to make it into a designer drug? Under North Carolina criminal law, possession of 28 or more grams of bath salts is considered a felony. Bath salts are considered a Schedule I controlled substance in North Carolina. Those charged face up to 84 months in prison and a minimum fine of $50,000. A suspect found with over 250 grams of K-2 or spice also faces felony charges, a minimum fine of $5,000, and a jail sentence of up to 30 months in prison.

Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer

Laws regarding designer drug crimes are changing all the time. The case law regarding designer drugs has not caught up to the current types of synthetic designer drugs out there. However, all drug charges are serious in North Carolina. The penalties for a conviction of a drug crime are severe. Consequences of a conviction can result in forfeiture, fines, and jail time. If you have previous drug convictions on your record, you face even more serious consequences.

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our lawyers are trial-ready. We have the trial experience needed to represent you throughout the entire process. We use our decades of legal experience within North Carolina criminal courts to help our clients fight hard for their rights. Contact our drug crime defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.