Synthetic marijuana is a laboratory-created herbal mixture that is quietly growing in popularity among young people across the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, synthetic marijuana is the second-most popular drug used by high school students.
Synthetic marijuana produces an effect similar to that of marijuana by reproducing the “high” of marijuana’s main component, THC. The drug is sold in packets containing plant and chemical compounds and smoked like marijuana. However, its effects are much more profound than those of conventional marijuana.
Potential side effects of synthetic marijuana include hallucinations, seizures, convulsions, accelerated heart rate, increased blood pressure, and negative psychological effects. Synthetic marijuana can also cause addiction among those who use it frequently.
In recent years, it was easy to find synthetic marijuana available for purchase in gas stations or over the Internet. However, many states, including New Jersey, have passed laws against synthetic marijuana and other drugs of its kind.
In New Jersey, possession of synthetic marijuana is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.3a. Meanwhile, distribution of synthetic marijuana is addressed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.3a. The sentences for possession and/or distribution of synthetic marijuana can vary, depending on the quantity of drugs involved. A conviction for second degree distribution of synthetic marijuana can result in a sentence of up to ten (10) years in New Jersey State Prison.
Synthetic marijuana usage in the United States is on the rise. This has led legislators to impose serious penalties for synthetic marijuana-related offenses. A person facing possession of synthetic marijuana charges should not hesitate to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.