Synthetic forms of recreational drugs have existed for years, leaving Ohio and other states struggling to find legal ways to address their use. The problem with enforcing use and possession of synthetic drugs is that manufacturers routinely change their recipes. As soon as one ingredient becomes illegal, these manufacturers simply find a substitute. However, the government has stepped up its efforts in recent years, making an arrest and possible conviction more viable than ever for drug users.

The government has placed a sharp focus on two main man-made drugs: synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones. Below is a brief description of these two substances.

Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as K2 and spice, are essentially created as a replacement for marijuana users. Manufacturers make the substance and then apply it to plant material.

Synthetic cathinones, also known as bath salts or jewelry cleaner, are meant to mimic the effects of amphetamines. The main ingredients of these cathinones are mephedrone, methylone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV).

Congress and the current presidential administration are currently working to ban forms of these substances at the federal level. This means state governments will no longer have a say in how drug charges related to synthetic drugs are handled. In 2012, the president signed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act into law, making it illegal to possess some 26 synthetic substances. This, combined with other federal and state efforts, means casual synthetic drug users could now face serious consequences if charged.

Abstaining from the use of these substances is the best way to avoid conviction, but those who are arrested on synthetic drug charges need help immediately. An experienced attorney like those employed with the Goldberg Law Firm of Cleveland, Ohio, can help defendants face and survive drug charges associated with synthetic substances.

Source: WhiteHouse.gov, “Synthetic Drugs (a.k.a. K2, Spice, Bath Salts, etc.),” accessed Aug. 04, 2015