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Got that mojo? Faux weed arrives In San Antonio
by Jeff Vaughn / KENS 5
Updated Wednesday, Mar 3 2010
Smoking marijuana can get you fired, but some employees are finding new ways of getting high without it showing up on a drug test.
"Mojo" is the name for a synthetic herbal incense, and it is becoming a popular -- but pricey -- alternative to marijuana.
Anyone come across this in their jurisdiction?
[This message was edited by rob kepple on 07-19-10 at .]
I'm no lawyer but it seems to me these substances are already illegal in Texas.
HSC Penalty Group 2 includes:
Tetrahydrocannabinols, other than marihuana, and synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in the plant, or in the resinous extractives of Cannabis, or synthetic substances, derivatives, and their isomers with similar chemical structure and pharmacological activity such as: delta-1 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and their optical isomers; delta-6 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and their optical isomers; delta-3, 4 cis or tetrahydrocannabinol, and its optical isomers; compounds of these structures, regardless of numerical designation of atomic positions, since nomenclature of these substances is not internationally standardized;
Please excuse any typos.
There are dozens of natural cannabinoids and potentially hundreds of synthetic variations... which also brings us to:
H&SC 481.106 Classification of Controlled Substance Analogue For the purposes of the prosecution of an offense under this subchapter involving the manufacture, delivery, or possession of a controlled substance, Penalty Groups 1, 1-A, and 2 include a controlled substance analogue that: (1) has a chemical structure substantially similar to the chemical structure of a controlled substance listed in the applicable penalty group; or (2) is specifically designed to produce an effect substantially similar to, or greater than, a controlled substance listed in the applicable penalty group.
Yes it is here on our college campuses, UT, A@M in College Station and San Marcos. It's also now in every small town that had their Spring Breakers come home to share their discovery with the local kids at the Junior Colleges.
Those of you with college students should talk to them. Pretty scary for all of us with highly motivated kids who want to party without creating a criminal record. It's amazing how quickly a new way of getting a buzz travels the country.
Wonder if the long term affects are similar to the long term marijuana use? Alex there are no blood tests for these chemicals so we can't prosecute without proof.
You may not catch probationers with a dirty UI but you probably could stop it from being sold openly at the local head shops and thereby reduce the growing use among college kids.
Alternatively, there are some good reasons to allow synthetic dope. Those sales generate tax revenue for the city and state while simultaneously diverting money away from the black market marijuana trade. Simply refusing to enforce the analogues law may allow the free market advantages claimed by marijuana legalization proponents to be studied for validity and weighed against the actual harm... and this study could be accomplished without the political risk of being labeled soft on drug crime.
Here is a DEA memo from July 2009 that says the cannabinoid in Spice is "a schedule I controlled substance in the U.S."
We are suddenly inundated with juveniles who possess marijuana substitutes at our schools. While the active ingredient of fake weed, JWH-18, is not a controlled substance, it was specifically designed to produce an effect substantially similar to, or greater than, a controlled substance. Hence, it appears that we should be able to prove that bogus pot is an analogue under H&SC 481.106(2).
Has anyone ever tried or at least prepared to try somebody for possession of a controlled substance analogue without proof of a substantially similar chemical structure? If so, I would appreciate hearing from you!
From the end of the story on AlexLayman's link:
"The System to Retrieve Drug Evidence (STRIDE), a federal database for the seized drugs analyzed by DEA forensic laboratories..."
Actors, shoes, gum, and now federal databases!
I recently wrote an article on these "herbal incense/smoking blend" products for the section I edit in "ToxTalk", the quarterly newsletter of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. I usually rework these articles for more of a lay-audience and post them on my website, but haven't gotten this one up yet. While the article is written for a forensic toxicology audience, if anyone is interested, send me an Email at Dwain@ForensicToxicologyConsultant.com and I will send you a PDF until I can get it posted on my website.
I finally got around to putting the article about K2 and Spice up on my website. The article details some of the synthetic cannabinoids that various labs have found in K2 and/or Spice. It is a bit technical, but if you have questions, please feel free to contact me. If you are interested in the article, here is the address.
BTW, it is mere coincidence that I live in Mansfield.
Probationer admitted using K2. Probation paperwork prohibits uses of various things including inhalants. Probation wants to revoke him using K2 as an inhalant or possession of inhalant paraphernalia. I don't think its feasible under the law but I wanted to know what others thought about this. Thanks!
[This message was edited by Keith Houston on 09-12-10 at .]
Has anyone alleged use of of these substances for a DWI, or to support a synergistic charge? I have a DWI where the first words out of the defendant's mouth on video are "I've been drinking" and the SECOND words are "and smoking that legal weed."
Try alleging it as an analogue under H&SC 481.106(2) (and let us know how it works out!)
I ended up going another direction when rekoving probation or deferred. One of the conditions in our paperwork for probation and deferred states:
"Avoid injurious or vicious habits including but not limited to the use of marijuana, narcotics, dangerous drugs, inhalants, or the abuse of prescription medication."
The wording does not specifically ban the use of K2 or similar products. We are using the condition on a revocation because the list is not exclusive due to the statement "including but not limited to." Marijuana is listed and our argument is that K2 is a product similar to marijuana and thus an �injurious or vicious habit.� We are also arguing that the legality of K2 is not an issue because many inhalants are legal to buy.
We have not yet prosecuted for actual use of synthetics. Our office only prosecutes misdemeanors so I have been looking for a way to make it work under H&SC �481.119 without success. I believe the legislature will likely address this in the spring since several other states have done so already.
[This message was edited by Keith Houston on 09-29-10 at .]
Breckenridge and Eastland have joined in the city ordinance fight.
In Wise County, we have two cities that have banned K2, etc. Our county seat of Decatur as well as the town of Rhome, in South Wise County have both banned K2, Spice, etc.
I have three DWI's that are straight K2 sitting on my desk and should have at least one of them to verdict by the end of the year.
Richard Alpert has been very helpful with putting together the proper proof for these cases. I am hoping he will have an article or paper out on this very soon...
Wise County Attorney
FYI, the Harris County Medical Examiner is sponsoring a seminar on K2/Spice/yada yada yada on December 7th:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2010
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
DEA Moves to Emergency Control Synthetic Marijuana
Agency Will Study Whether To Permanently Control Five Substances
NOV 24 -- WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is using its emergency scheduling authority to temporarily control five chemicals (JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol) used to make "fake pot" products. Except as authorized by law, this action will make possessing and selling these chemicals or the products that contain them illegal in the U.S. for at least one year while the DEA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further study whether these chemicals and products should be permanently controlled.
A Notice of Intent to Temporarily Control was published in the Federal Register today to alert the public to this action. After no fewer than 30 days, DEA will publish in the Federal Register a Final Rule to Temporarily Control these chemicals for at least 12 months with the possibility of a six-month extension. They will be designated as Schedule I substances, the most restrictive category, which is reserved for unsafe, highly abused substances with no medical usage.
Full DEA Press Release available here
Here is an excellent article written from a stoner's perspective:
In my estimation, the author presents the best argument yet for a viable controlled substance analogue statute.
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