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Posted on April 18, 2014 by Law Office of Brett A Podolsky
If you thought it was alright to smoke K2 in Texas, you may be in for a big surprise. Not only has the Texas Controlled Substances Act been amended to account for synthetic marijuana, the penalty for a K2 conviction is substantial.
Although the manufacturers of synthetic marijuana products, sometimes referred to as spice, are doing their best to stay ahead of Texas drug enforcement officials, smoking K2 is a big risk. Texas lawmakers have added synthetic cannabinoid receptors to the Texas Controlled Substances Act. Penalty Group 2-a now prohibits the manufacturing or distribution of compounds that mimic the natural effects of cannabinoids.
The K2 ban became effective in Texas on April 22, 2011. The law makes it illegal to possess, manufacture, produce, distribute or sell synthetic marijuana. The law also bans more than 140 chemical substances that are commonly used to manufacture synthetic marijuana. Enforcement of the law, however, has been complicated by the introduction of new products composed of altered chemicals not yet covered by the law. These new formulas are technically legal and are widely sold in retail outlets such as convenience stores, head shops and gas stations.
Synthetic Marijuana Penalties
Synthetic marijuana products are often marketed as herbal incense and other similar products. Needless to say, it has become difficult for both consumers and law enforcement personnel to know what products contain banned substances. From both a legal and health perspective, purchasing K2 products is risky at best. Not only is it nearly impossible to know what toxic compounds have been used to produce the product, The Texas Controlled Substances Act now includes hefty penalties for violating the ban.
The exact punishment for violating the synthetic marijuana ban will depend on the nature and scope of the alleged crime. The specific criminal charge and the amount of K2 involved will determine the penalty that could be incurred. Under Penalty Group 2-a, an offender can be convicted of either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor.
Unfortunately, that’s not the full extent of the available penalties. Possessing or manufacturing more than 400 grams of synthetic marijuana with intent to sell the drug could result in a first degree felony conviction. A first degree felony could land a defendant in state prison for anywhere from ten years to life. An offender can also be fined as much as $100,000.
Regardless of the criminal charge, every defendant is guaranteed certain legal rights under the law. The prosecutor must show that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, the actions of law enforcement officials and the evidence in the case must be carefully scrutinized and legally challenged whenever possible. If you have been arrested for K2, then call Brett A. Podolsky today at 713.227.0087.
*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net