Monday, December 27, 2010

Synthetic Marijuana Substitute Under Federal Review

Many of you are probably already familiar with the scandal that was created when a home video was released showing teen superstar Miley Cyrus smoking what at first was assumed to be marijuana from a bong. Cyrus' publicist quickly shared that she actually was smoking Salvia, a plant that is legal in most states and does have hallucinogenic effects on users. The incident once again raised the question over whether Salvia and other similar substances should become banned or at least more carefully controlled.

An article in yesterday's Houston Chronicle revealed the increasing use of a synthetic marijuana substitute, both in Texas and around the country. Harris County has recorded the most calls of any area in the state to the Texas Poison Center Network, with the effects of smoking the substance including hallucinations, vomiting, and rapid heart rate. The five primary substances used to make the chemically sprayed herbal incense are now receiving a closer look from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the government organization announced it will ban the chemical compounds while they are being studied over the next year, with the possibility that they will become permanently controlled substances.

As efforts are considered to control some of these marijuana substitutes more closely, there are conservative activists such as Rev. Pat Robertson who are advocating for less harsh punishments for those who use marijuana. What do you think of these two differing positions concerning drug use in our country?

The criminal defense attorneys at Bertolino LLP make it a priority to stay on top of all local, state, and federal laws that may affect you and we certainly are following any changes to our drug laws. If you have been accused of creating or possessing a controlled substance, our experienced lawyers can help. Please call our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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