in light of this new law to tackle the issues surrounding whether bath salts and/or synthetic marihuana are legal or illegal, what are your law enforcement personnel doing when they come into contact with this stuff? arrest or issue a ticket and arrest after lab results?
Arrest. At least in our jurisdiction the people that tend to have it are the absolute least likely to show up for court again. Officer has PC to believe that it's either a PG 2-A substance (a non-exclusive list of substances) or a THC analogue. If it turns out that it truly ISN'T one of those things then you can always dismiss later.
How are you charging those cases? Are you waiting for a lab report before you file? Our C & I's require that you list the specific chemical found in the K2 that makes it an illegal substance. We require a lab report from the arresting agency along with the case report before we will accept the case.
I have seen alot of discussion about these drugs. My belief on this may be different than others, however here is what I have;
First we must understand the whole synthetic drug and the reaction of our law makers. If we look at the SB 331- which is what created the PG2A offense, you will see that it was not the law makers intent to tie our hands to ONLY those listed in the PG Group. Granted SB 263 was filed this year to address this and clarify it, we should look at the intent here. Granted Im just a cop, however I can read and I have seen numerous Case Law briefs referring to how the deciding Justices looked at the law makers intent on certain laws.
So with that in mind, I beleive the PG2A offense is not specific to only JWH-018 (used as an example), but to the analogues which go with it.
Think about it like the marihuana. Prosecutors have long prosecuted marihuana cases without lab reports. When the defense counsel wanted the lab report to show it was in fact marihuana, then the marihuana was sent to the lab. This was always done for the simple fact that Probable Cause is needed for the arrest, not Proof Beyond Reasonable. Officers used their "experience and training" to develop probable cause. As popular as theses drugs are becoming, the experience will come to officers rather quickly, all they really need now is the training on the issues.
There are my thoughts.
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