Synthetic marijuana is a drug that has become more and more common in the last several years. This type of drug is meant to emulate marijuana, but it can be much more harmful. Synthetic marijuana goes by a number of different street names such as spice, K2, skunk moon rocks, black mamba, and fake weed. Synthetic marijuana has been deemed illegal under state and federal laws. If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is advisable to seek legal representation from an experienced Mooresville criminal attorney as soon as possible.Safety Concerns for Synthetic Marijuana
There are many safety concerns regarding the use of synthetic marijuana. Because the laws list specific ingredients that are banned, manufacturers continue to try to use new and different ingredients in an attempt to evade the law. The laws have been revised to include additional ingredients that have not been specifically listed.
Many people have been seriously injured and some have died as a result of using synthetic marijuana. It is a public safety issue that continues to be addressed by both state and federal agencies. Because of the many unknown ingredients in synthetic marijuana, people who use it may not realize exactly what they are taking. Even though it is marketed as a safe substitute for marijuana, it has the potential to be extremely dangerous.
Synthetic marijuana is manufactured using leftover cannabis plant materials that have been sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids. There are hundreds of man-made chemicals that may be used in the making of synthetic marijuana. These chemicals are supposed to be similar to THC found in natural cannabis. However, they often affect the brain and the body much differently and in unpredictable ways.Penalties for Possession of Synthetic Marijuana
Manufacture, possession, and/or distribution of synthetic marijuana is illegal under both state and federal laws. Under North Carolina laws, synthetic marijuana falls under the same category as natural cannabis. Both are classified as Schedule IV controlled substances. Thus far, the current laws do not allow for the use of medical marijuana.North Carolina Penalties Schedule IV controlled substances are considered to have a low risk of addiction and low risk to the public as compared with other more dangerous drugs. If you are charged with possession of synthetic cannabis of less than a half-ounce, it is a Class 3 misdemeanor.
Penalties include fines and you will have a criminal record. However, you will not receive jail time if this is your first offense. Possession of more than a half-ounce of synthetic cannabis is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Penalties include fines and a jail sentence of up to 120 days. You will also have a criminal record.Federal Penalties
According to federal law, marijuana and synthetic marijuana are classified as Schedule I controlled substances. This is a classification that indicates the drug is not used for medical purposes and has a high potential for abuse. There are eight different classes of Schedule I drugs. Synthetic marijuana falls under one of these classifications and a first possession conviction carries a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in prison depending on the amount of drugs that you possessed.
Those with a prior drug charge conviction will face stiffer penalties. You could face up to two years in prison and fines of up to $2,500. If you have two prior drug convictions the penalties are increased with up to three years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.Fight Drug Charges
As you can see, if you are convicted of drug charges you could be facing some time in prison and some fines, among other penalties. It is important to keep in mind that you have a right to defend against the charges in court. A skilled Mooresville criminal defense attorney will review your case and assist you in protecting your rights and defending criminal charges.
There are many ways that a criminal attorney may be able to assist in your case. Sometimes the evidence against you is weak or was gathered in an illegal or improper manner. If that is the situation, the charges against you may be reduced or could even be dropped. Your attorney will work with the prosecutor to try to resolve your case in the best way possible.
If you are convicted of a drug crime, the judge has some discretion over the penalties. Although there are penalty guidelines, these are usually a range so the judge can determine the exact penalties in each case. Your attorney will be instrumental in presenting your case for a sentence that is as light as possible. Remember that some drug charges can be extremely serious and if you have been convicted of drug charges in the past you need an attorney who will vigorously defend your case. Get the help you need from our legal team. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today for a consultation.