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New Illinois Law Bans Synthetic Drugs that Mimic Marijuana, Cocaine

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New illegal drugs appear on the streets every few years, necessitating new laws on drug possession distribution, and manufacturing. In the current decade, law enforcement has had to deal with the rise of synthetic drug manufacturing, including synthetic cocaine, known as bath salts, and synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or Spice. Because drug laws generally ban a specific chemical compound, manufacturers could sometimes skirt the law simply by modifying their formulas. To eliminate this loophole, Illinois legislators recently passed a new law with a broader definition of synthetic drugs.

The Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic cathinones, or bath salts, are formulated to deliver a short-lived but intense feeling of energy and euphoria, similar to that produced by cocaine or methamphetamine These products are generally sold as a fine powder that can be swallowed, snorted, or injected. Their dangerous side effects—including paranoia, hallucinations, and violent behavior—have been reported to require hospitalization for as long as two weeks.

Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as K2 or Spice, are meant to mimic the effects of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. These products are generally sold as a liquid that can be vaped or sprayed on plant material and smoked. Dangerous side effects can include suicidal thoughts and elevated heart rate and blood pressure.

Synthetic piperazines mimic the effects of ecstasy. High doses can cause seizures, confusion, anxiety, and heart palpitations.

In many cases, synthetic drugs are sold over the internet under the guise of products not meant for human consumption, such as incense or potpourri. Synthetic drugs can be far more dangerous than their natural plant-based forms because they can be made significantly more potent and they can be formulated with unknown, sometimes toxic, ingredients. Users do not know exactly what they are ingesting and can more easily overdose.

The New 2019 Illinois Law on Synthetic Drugs

In amendments amendments that took effect on January 1, 2019, the Illinois Controlled Substances Act now broadly defines synthetic drugs as any synthetic cannabinoids, piperazines, or cathinones which are “not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or, if approved, are not dispensed and possessed in accordance with state or federal law.” These are classified as Schedule I drugs, which carry the highest penalties. A person caught in possession of synthetic drugs can be charged with a Class 4 felony, while manufacturing is a Class 3 felony.

Will County Drug Possession Defense Attorney

If you are convicted of drug possession, you could have a permanent felony record. As soon as possible after an arrest, consult an experienced Joliet drug possession lawyer to discuss your case and defense strategy. For a free initial consultation, call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. in Joliet at 815-740-4025.

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