Guest Post by Lauren Williams, Legal Blogger for King Law Offices, Greenville, SC
Up until April 2013, the synthetic drug commonly known as “K2”, “Spice” or “bath salts” were legal in Arizona. While these drugs were labeled “not for human consumption”, they were marketed as a legal alternative to marijuana. An Arizona Criminal Justice Commission study found nearly 7% of 8th Graders, over 11% of 10th-graders and nearly 14% of 12th-graders had tried such synthetic drugs last year.
In April, House Bill 2327 was signed into law. This bill bans “any material, compound, mixture or preparation which contains any quantity of cannabimimetic substances and their salts, isomers… and salts of isomers”, putting “bath salts” alongside such dangerous drugs as cocaine and methamphetamines. Under the new law, persons in possession of synthetic drugs listed under the Arizona “Dangerous Drugs” statute would be treated just as if it were a marijuana possession. If the offender has not been arrested on federal drug charges prior to this charge, he or she will be eligible for probation and drug treatment.
Should the offender have had at least two prior felony drug convictions, the following applies:
“Marijuana two (2) or more pounds, but less than four (4) pounds: class five (5) felony which carries mandatory prison from six (6) months to two and one half (2.5) years of incarceration. If the defendant has one (1) allegeable historical prior felony conviction, then a second offense felony would require prison of anywhere from one (1) year to three and three quarters (3.75) years of incarceration. If the defendant has two (2) allegeable historical prior felony convictions, then a third offense felony would require prison anywhere from three (3) years to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration.”
Defendants charged with selling, delivering or distributing synthetic drugs will face much harsher penalties, in line with penalties for intent to sell or distribute marijuana. Federal law already prohibits the sale of these synthetic drugs, both online and in retail stores.
Have you been charged with possession of synthetic marijuana in Arizona? Call us to schedule a free consultation for your case. Our offices can be reached 24 hours a day at (602) 307-0808 or via email.
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