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Synthetic drugs can get users arrested

Chicago young adults likely know that certain synthesized drugs like LSD and ecstasy are illegal to possess. However, they may not realize that some supposedly legal synthetic drugs can also lead to legal trouble.

Illegal drugs fall into three general categories: synthetic, derivative and natural. For example, marijuana is natural, cocaine is a plant derivative and ecstasy is completely synthesized. Some drug makers alter the chemical composition of illegal drugs in order to skirt drug laws. For instance, bath salts are a synthesized drug marketed as a marijuana alternative. The substance, which is sometimes called Spice or K2, is made by taking an innocuous plant or organic material and coating it with various chemicals that are technically legal. The drug is then smoked or ingested by users.

In order to combat the sale and consumption of bath salts, lawmakers have banned many synthetic drugs. This means that even individuals who possess a legal synthetic drug could be taken into custody until officers have the substance tested in a drug lab. It is also illegal to sell a substance that is intended to mimic the appearance and effects of illicit drugs. People should be aware that bath salts have been known to cause violent outbursts in users, which could lead to illegal behavior. Public intoxication from any substance, whether legal or illegal, could also lead to an arrest.

Individuals facing drug charges for possessing or selling synthetic drugs may be able to fight the allegations by contacting a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney could protect a defendant's rights throughout the legal process and could in some cases mount challenges based on the facts of the case.

Source: Findlaw, "Types of synthetic drugs that can get you arrested," George Khoury, Nov. 3, 2016

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