“Spice” is a common term for a form of synthetic marijuana sold under brand names such as Spice, K2 and Scooby Snacks. Scientists refer to these products as synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists, and they are allegedly designed to provide a similar effect to THC in marijuana.
When Spice and related substances were first introduced around 15 years ago, they were marketed as herbal supplements, authorities paid them little attention, and they were not used by a large percentage of the population. As they gained popularity and were being found on suspects arrested for committing other crimes, police sent samples to drug labs for analysis under a mass spectrometer, and it was determined there were very few natural substances contained in these products.
Artificial marijuana consists of any number of combinations of complex chemical formulas and according to authorities, has dangerous photoactive effects on users and is a danger to society. For this reason, it have been classified as a controlled substance, and police have stepped up their enforcement efforts and essentially waged a war on synthetic drugs and their users and dealers.
According to a recent news report from WBRC Fox 6, Cherokee County deputies have just arrested four suspects who were allegedly caught with around 390 grams of Spice. Deputies say they conducted a routine traffic stop around 3:30 p.m. when they noticed one of the occupants of the car was wanted on unrelated charges. Deputies say they asked for consent to search the vehicle and were granted permission by the driver. Deputies called a K9 officer to the scene, and the dog sniffed the vehicle and found what is alleged to be nearly 400 grams of Spice. Deputies arrested all four men, transported them to the Cherokee County detention center, and booked them on various charges, including possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
As our Birmingham drug crimes defense lawyers can explain, prosecutors will be required under state law to have these alleged controlled substances sent to a crime lab, where lab analysts will attempt to determine exactly what the substance is and what it is not. This is where prosecutors can run into a problem and where an experienced drug crimes defense attorney may be able to be of assistance.
One of the biggest fears claimed by politicians and authorities about Spice or K2 is that its production is unregulated and not subject to safety testing. They say one bag could be completely worthless and another bag could be poison, which can kill user. They say you never know what it is in a bag of Spice. As it turns out, they are somewhat correct. You never know what is in a bag of Spice until you have it tested at a laboratory. The problem for prosecutors across the county is what is actually contained in the bag does not match what is made illegal by their state statute.
Even though these statutes are made extremely broad to cover a variety of possible chemical contributions, there are many cases when drug labs return an inconclusive result, which can become a major problem for the government.