The United States Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, is stepping up efforts to stop the manufacture and sale of designer synthetic drugs across the nation. One complication faced by DEA officials is the ambiguity tied to the legality of these synthetic drugs. Legislation on this issue is constantly changing, leaving many citizens confused on whether the substances are legal or not.
The federal agency's most recent attempt to increase enforcement of new regulations was dubbed Operation Log Jam and led to the arrest of over 90 individuals and the confiscation of five million packets of synthetic drugs. The operation was aimed to target manufacturers of the synthetic drugs, which go by the popular names bath salts, Spice, incense or plant food.
DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart stated that the operation's success was tied to collaboration with state and local enforcement officers. The operation led to over a dozen arrests and drug charges in Florida alone.
Details of Operation Log Jam
The operation was designed to disrupt the flow of synthetic drugs into the country. Use of the drugs can mimic cocaine, LSD or methamphetamine. Users have experienced dangerous side effects, such as coma, paranoia, violent episodes and even death.
Many of the components of these drugs were outlawed. Congress placed 26 of the substances used to create the designer drugs on a list of prohibited controlled substances, but manufactures are continually tweaking the recipe to sidestep these laws. In addition, manufacturers also attempt to avoid the laws by marketing the products as incense "not intended for human consumption.
Charges associated with synthetic drug use can be severe, including monetary penalties and potential prison sentences. As a result, these charges should be taken seriously.
If you or a loved one is charged with possession of a controlled substance, which can include these designer drugs, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced drug charges attorney to better ensure your legal rights are protected.