Many storeowners, facing economic difficulties and reduced profits, have turned to spice to supplement their business incomes. Websites selling spice to these storeowners emphasize the legality of their product, which they refer to as herbal incense or herbal smoking blends, misleading storeowners into thinking that acquiring and thereafter selling the product would be a quick, easy, and safe way to earn some cash.
In fact, synthetic compounds commonly found in synthetic marijuana were banned in July of 2012. These compounds are now classified as Schedule I substances. Many manufacturers try to get around this ban by slightly altering the component chemicals of the product so as to avoid the ban, which bans only specific components of spice and not synethetic marijuana itself which of course due to the variations of the product would be somewhat difficult to do. Because of this, updates to the ban are continuously being placed into effect by the DEA.
Why is spice so popular? Synthetic marijuana is chemically more similar to methamphetamine than to marijuana itself. The consumption of spice does give the user a high, but the drug is not detectable by standard drug testing – meaning that those currently facing drug testing, perhaps due to a probationary sentence, can smoke spice and not get in any trouble.
While many view spice as an innocuous product, that is not the case. High profile cases involving hospitalizations and even death point towards the inherent dangers of the product. Spice can cause psychotic episodes, anxiety, nausea, and even suicidal thoughts. Because the drug is so popular with teenagers, and has been shown to be dangerous, the government is making significant efforts to prosecute those who sell the product, even if they are unaware of the illegality of the drug due to the manipulative and misleading information provided to them by the manufacturers.
If you are a storeowner and are selling a synthetic marijuana product, it is important to know that ignorance of the law is not a defense, and will not save you from prosecution. If you have been charged with distribution of drugs based upon the sale of spice, it is important to contact a drug crimes defense attorney immediately to discuss all of your options and to prepare a defense to your case.