Not many people outside Houston criminal lawyers, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies keep up with changing laws in Texas; however, a new law took effect on September 1, 2011 that deals with with a drug known as K2 or Spice and comes in the form of incense and bath salts.
So what this means is now having it in your possession, selling it or manufacturing it is now illegal. It actually has been illegal since March 1, 2011 under federal law because the DEA placed an emergency ban on several of the chemicals used to create the drug.
The Texas state law covers a lot more types and combinations of chemicals than the federal law; however, there are areas that overlap which means you could get charged by the state or the feds and it is now a controlled substance. Under the new law this law is violated by manufacturing, delivery or simply possesing the substance and is considered a felony. The circumstances of the activity determine the fines and range of imprisonment such as the amount involved and if you are charged with intent to deliver.
This law doesn’t just apply to individuals, it also applies to the smoke shops too, and I’ve heard that some have been raided by the police looking for synthetic marijuana. Law enforcement is viewing this as another weapon in their arsenal in which to charge people, and they will exploit the opportunity if given the chance.
Although this law in Texas is relatively new, there is another law that also goes hand-in-hand with drug use and that’s the law pertaining to driving while intoxicated, which most people just associate with drinking and driving.
People are often confused when they are charged with a DWI when they are on prescription medication. The same is true for synthetic drugs, inhalents, and other types of mind impairing substances. If you do not have your mental or physical faculties and are driving o vehicle then you can be charged with a DWI.
A good reference regarding what to do when you are stopped by law enforcement can be found in an earlier blog post “Reasons to Refuse Field Sobriety Tests.” So just remember that although the new law might pertain to possession there are other laws that you could violate by simply using synthetic marijuana.