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New Texas synthetic drug law addresses shortcomings in 2011 law

Texas readers who have been paying attention to the news know that there has been a spate of hospitalizations in recent weeks in connection with the use of synthetic marijuana. Out in Austin, there have been at least 170 hospitalizations, and a number of other hospitalizations have occurred in other areas.

The problem of synthetic drugs is an ongoing one, not only here in Texas, but in other states as well. Texas lawmakers are certainly aware of the situation, and were successful in passing a law banning the possession, manufacture distribution or sale of synthetic marijuana. The law, which goes into effect in September, will hopefully help prosecutors to target those responsible for disseminating such drugs. 

The situation with synthetic drugs is tricky, though, since these drugs cannot be consolidated into one formula. Rather, synthetic drugs come in a variety of forms, and manufacturers are constantly altering their formulas to get around state laws. The new law came into being in the first place because a previous attempt to ban synthetic marijuana back in 2011 was ineffective. That’s because the law banned drugs which acted like natural marijuana. Proving that in court is a very difficult thing to do, even if it is possible to show the similarities in the chemical compound itself. Because of this, prosecutors have been unsuccessful in pursuing charges under the law.

How exactly is the new law different? We’ll take a look at this issue in our next post and why it is important for those faced with charges in connection with synthetic drugs to work with an experienced attorney.

Source: Houston Sun Times, “Texas passes synthetic marijuana law,” Kaley Fowler, June 14, 2015.

Texas Observer, “Can Texas Lawmakers Possibly Outlaw Synthetic Drugs?,” Patrick Michels, Feb. 4, 2015. 

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