A quick blurb from the Miami Herald about the federal government stepping up their efforts to curb synthetic marijuana. Also known as “spice”, this drug is potentially deadly. What makes it so dangerous is the unknown chemical mixtures that are added, sometimes at random. As there is no purity and no set recipe, “spice” has already been implicated in dozens of hospitalizations and even deaths in Florida. Now the feds may be striking back…
Last week, ten men were charged with conspiracy for their roles in manufacturing synthetic marijuana, some of it laced with dangerous or deadly chemicals. Their plan? To distribute the drug throughout New York City.
Known as “spice” or K2, this drug is smoked like normal pot. As mentioned above, hospitals nationwide are seeing the results of bad “spice”. There has been a large uptick in emergency room visits because of bad reactions to this drug. Victims are suffering from hallucinations, psychotic episodes and even heart problems.
In this case, the federal indictment came from a yearlong investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The indictment claims the defendants were importing large amounts of illegal synthetic ingredients from China. This included a mix of chemicals that are illegal in the United States. The defendants were mixing the chemicals with tea leaves and selling them for only $5 a packet. Using brand names such as “Green Giant”, “Psycho” and “AK-47”, the defendants were doing a brisk business, selling them in head shops and convenience stores.
While the men were being arrested, agents were simultaneously raiding businesses and warehouses that were suspected of making and/or selling the “spice”. Agents seized 275,000 of the K2 packets (valued at $30 million!) and over 450 pounds of chemicals used to make the product.
In New York alone, there were over 1,100 emergency room visits per month as a result of synthetic marijuana. Poison control centers calls about this drug were up over 225 percent over 2014 calls. Will this federal crackdown help? It is a good start. From the ten defendants named, four are currently fugitives and six have already appeared in a Manhattan federal court.
When marijuana is being decriminalized in so many states, why the uptick in this synthetic drug that is proven to be so dangerous? Experts don’t know for sure but think that the low price and easy availability in most cities make it a “go to” drug for both poor addicts and bored suburban teens alike.
Have you or a loved one been arrested for a possession of a controlled substance? Then call the Clearwater drug crimes defense lawyers of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. today! These former prosecutors are experienced trial attorneys.
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