Although imitation Marijuana is readily available, it is still illegal to use or sell in Arizona
Synthetic Marijuana Facts
On Thursday November 23, 2012 local media outlets reported three incidents of synthetic Marijuana poison by high school students from two different schools in Southern AZ. Two of the students were sent to hospital emergency rooms.
Synthetic Marijuana or Imitation Marijuana is a chemically engineered cannabinoids substances or plant material that is said to produce a high similar that of Marijuana if smoked or ingested.
Arizona is in the majority of states in the country that prohibit use, sales, production, and distribution of synthetic marijuana products and other illegal substances.
This is because they have proven to be dangerous, causing severe illness, resulting in emergency hospitalizations, and fatalities. The National Institute on Drug Abuse compares the effects in some cases to poisoning. Health effects include severe anxiety, nausea, vomiting, heart problems, tremors, seizures, hallucinations, paranoia, psychotic episodes, and other serious medical conditions.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers incidents of poisonings, and poison control emergency calls increased 50% from 2010 (2915) to 2011 (5741) and continued to increase for 2012.
Despite Health alerts and warnings by Local, State, and Government Agencies, synthetic marijuana continues to be sold and used. Brands marketed and sold as something other than fake or synthetic Marijuana. They may be found under the popular names of:
• “Red X Dawn”
They are usually labeled as Incense and have the words “Not for Human Consumption”. They are readily available, and can be purchased at marijuana shops, other retail outlets, and even some convenient stores.
AZ Synthetic and Imitation Drug Laws
Synthetic Drugs are defined under Arizona Law Imitation Substances or Drug Offenses
A.R.S. 13-3451 and include:
• Controlled substances;
• Counterfeit preparations;
• Imitation controlled substances;
• Imitation prescription-only drug;
• Imitation over-the-counter drug
Arizona Laws A.R.S. 13- 3456; 13- 3457, and 13-3458, prohibit use of imitation or synthetic controlled substances; prescription drugs; and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs;
Violations of these laws will result in Class 2 Misdemeanor criminal charges.
Class 2 Misdemeanor charges expose a person to four months in jail; probation; substance abuse education, counseling and treatment; up to $750.00 fines; fees, and costs.
Arizona laws also apply to sales, manufacturing, or distribution of synthetic or imitation drugs under A.R.S. 13-3453; 13-3454; 13-3455; and 13-3459.
Violations of any of these laws will result in Class 6 Felony charges and expose a person to more severe sentencing including prison terms and exorbitant fines.
Arizona Marijuana Laws
Marijuana use, sales, production, and distribution is prohibited under Arizona law A.R.S. 13- 3405, and includes synthetic Marijuana as described in A.R.S. 13- 3401 Drug definitions.
Charges are classified as felonies. The classification of the offense and severity of the offense depends on the quantity of the drug found in a person’s possession as well as other factors.
Criminal Defense for Marijuana and Synthetic Marijuana Possession
Many users are misled by the fact that the imitation drugs are readily sold over the counter. However, it is a criminal offense to use, sell, produce or distribute Synthetic Marijuana. If you face any Marijuana drug charges you should consult a criminal defense attorney regarding your matter. If retained, they will make sure your rights are protected; you are treated fairly; and defend your charges. There may be defenses you are not aware of that can lead to dismissal of charges; reduction of sentencing or other favorable resolution in your matter.