Dangers of Synthetic Marijuana and Why It Should Be Banned in Michigan

Whether it is sold as K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Aroma, Mr. Smiley, Eclipse, Dream, Blaze or Red X Dawn, synthetic marijuana has been on the market since around 2006. These products are touted as teas, herbs or incense and are generally peddled in convenience stores and smoke shops as “aromatic potpourri,” with nothing more than a warning that they are “not for human consumption.” Once it was discovered that standard urine tests would not detect the use of many of these products, their popularity mushroomed. Teens on probation for minor offenses such as MIP or Possession of Marihuana, are turning to Spice and other synthetic drugs so as not to get violated on probation. Unfortunately, these drugs are 10 times more addicting than their counterparts.

Unlike with real marijuana, synthetic marijuana especially when mixed with alcohol can be a toxic mix. As a result, several states have banned the sale of these synthetic marijuana products. New York did so back in March 2012 on the heels of studies proving the link between synthetic marijuana and serious health hazards such as difficulty breathing, accelerated heart rate, hallucinations, seizures, thoughts of suicide and even death. At the very least, use of the synthetic cannabis apparently has the potential to require a trip to the nearest emergency room. Unfortunately, teenagers are one of the age groups most likely to be attracted to these toxic products, often thinking they are safe because they are legal. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Some forty states have banned the sale of the products, and Michigan is following suit, with Detroit issuing an emergency order banning the sale of the deadly mix and Macomb County using the Health code to ban it directly. According to the Michigan Poison Control Center, there were some 126 cases involving horror stories of various degrees associated with the use of synthetic marijuana reported during the first three months of 2012.

On May 25, 2012, Oliver Smith, 18, from Bloomfield Township was discovered dead from using Spice. Since then, the house Judiciary committee hearings have seen testimony from heartbroken parents and other professionals, including my testimony on behalf of the Smith family requesting a ban on the sell of these drugs Detroit area criminal attorney. As Oliver’s attorney, it was important to me to get the Judiciary Committee members to understand that any kid, not just ones who were using Spice to avoid probation detection, were at high risk of getting addicted to this drug. Even though the medical examiner determined that Oliver Smith’s death was directly related to his use of Spice, we wanted the members of the legislature to understand that all synthetic drugs similar to Spice had that same risk for their own teens. Almost immediately, the house committee voted to step up the penalty for selling the synthetic drugs from a misdemeanor to a felony, and to ultimately order a ban on their sale altogether. The legislation is being considered by the House and Senate in record time to avoid missing out on the opportunity to protect our teens before the summer recess in Lansing.

There has been a great deal of media coverage of the issue and we need to continue supporting the Smith family in their quest to have these dangerous drugs banned. Fox News Story Coverage

Let’s get in touch with every one of our representatives and senators today to support their passing a law against the sale of these addicting drugs and protect our kids immediately!

Many times individuals who have started out trying synthetic drugs graduate to the real thing at some point in time and end up being charged with drug possession or the sale or distribution of illegal substances. If you, a friend or family member have had charges filed against you it is of utmost importance to seek the advice of an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney.

Scott Weinberg has been protecting the rights of individuals in Michigan for the last twenty-five years and is also licensed to practice in Illinois. He has handled the gamut of criminal cases and is held in high esteem by others in the field. In addition to doing everything from handling high profile cases to being an expert commentator on Court TV, CBS Radio and his own show “Weinberg On The Law,” he will devote himself to defending you and protecting your rights.

Contact us to schedule you confidential consultation so that we can sit down to discuss your case and the options available to you. We do not require the entire payment for the defense of your case to be paid up front, and our firm can work with you to provide financing or a graduated payment plan.

Other resources:

House Committee Takes Aim At Synthetic Drugs, by Alex Shabad, WZZM 13, June 5, 2012

Pressure Mounts on K2 Sellers, The Detroit News, June 6, 2012

Mich. lawmakers, moms target synthetic marijuana, by Ed White, Bloomberg Businessweek, June 6, 2012