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Not the Spice of Life

First synthetic drug case in Lawrence County yields conviction

As new drugs move into mainstream use in Ohio, new laws are written to control or prevent sale and abuse of those drugs. One recent class of drugs prohibited in Ohio is synthetic cannabinoids, known among other names, as Spice.

In a recent case, Robert Holley, owner of The Counter Culture Shop, was charged under Ohio House Bill 64 which identified Spice and other synthetic marijuana compounds as Schedule 1 controlled substances. The bill became effective in October 2011. If you face criminal charges under the new law, you need to contact a drug crimes defense lawyer in Ohio.

Marketed as bath salts or innocuous herbal mixtures, use of Spice and other synthetic marijuana mimics have become widespread, especially by young adults and high school students. Spice is manufactured by spraying chemicals on leaves and twigs that resemble potpourri.

While several psychoactive chemicals frequently found in Spice have been designated as controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Spice is a synthetic designer drug fully subject to alterations by chemists daily developing new psychoactive compounds.

Marketed as natural, Spice and its family of mimics are now considered more dangerous than marijuana. Because it acts on the same brain receptors as marijuana, some users experience physiological effects similar to marijuana. Others experience paranoia, psychosis, extreme anxiety or even a heart attack.

Drug charges laid against Mr. Holley in the case were serious. Originally charged with several counts of drug trafficking, Mr. Holley pled guilty to two charges of third-degree trafficking and one count of fifth-degree trafficking of a controlled substance analogue of Spice. Two other charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

As the first person sentenced under HB 64 in Lawrence County, Mr. Holley received probation and $10,000 in fines.

Whether Spice or other street drug, charges of trafficking are serious in Ohio. If you need an experienced drug crime attorney, contact our office.

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