Spice, K2, and Synthetic Marijuana in Texas
Is synthetic marijuana illegal in Texas? Yes.
The issue of synthetic marijuana is hot in Texas. Synthetic marijuana is sometimes sold as a “potpourri” and has names such as K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie, and Zohai. Either way, Spice, K2, and Synthetic Marijuana in Texas are illegal as of September 1, 2015. Law makers, law enforcement and prosecutors have been basically trying to play Whack-a-Mole when it comes to these types of drugs. The reason why is because the chemists who make these drugs are able to change them faster than they can become illegal.
What is Synthetic Marijuana in Texas?
That’s a great question. Under Texas law, synthetic marijuana is a chemical compound which mimics the effects of cannabinoids (marijuana). These are also known as Controlled Substance Analogues in Texas. These chemicals are covered by the Texas Controlled Substances Act, specifically under Section 481.1031. Under Texas and federal law, these chemicals have to be “substantially similar” to the drug which they’re trying to mimic.
What is the punishment for possession of synthetic marijuana in Texas?
Basically, the punishment is identical to Possession of Marijuana. The synthetic marijuana brands fall under Penalty Group 2-A. Here is a breakdown if you’re been arrested for synthetic marijuana in Texas:
- Less than 2 ounces – Class B Misdemeanor ($2,000 fine/6 months jail)
- Between 2 ounces and 4 ounces – Class A Misdemeanor ($4,000 fine/1 year jail)
- 4 ounces to 5lbs – State Jail Felony ($10,000 fine/6 months – 2 years jail)
- 5lbs – 50lbs – 3rd Degree Felony ($10,000 fine/2 years – 10 years jail)
- 50lbs – 2,000lbs – 2nd Degree Felony ($10,000 fine/2 years – 20 years jail)
- 2,000lbs and up – 1st Degree Felony ($50,000 fine/5 years – 99 years jail)
What are your defenses to possession of synthetic marijuana in Texas?
First, I just want to mention that there are multiple defenses available to you. This list isn’t the complete list. It’s a list of the biggest defenses you have. This can be especially helpful during your case and can affecting the 3 Ways Your Criminal Case Can End in Texas, and deciding Whether or Not You Should Take a Plea Bargain.
- “Not Intended for Human Consumption” – This one may seem somewhat obvious but it’s a big defense. Just to be clear, that sticker on the package you bought your K2 or Spice in won’t save the day. For example, if the person or store you bought it from made references to smoking it or using it to get high, that can be enough evidence that it was for human consumption. Second, it can be shown that it was intended for human consumption the synthetic marijuana package is sold next to pipes, bongs, bowls, bubblers, or rolling papers.
- Not “Substantially Similar” to the drug they are trying to mimic – In order for the state to prove its case against you, it must show that the drug (synthetic marijuana in our case) is substantially similar to the drug contained in Marijuana (THC). For the state to prove this, they need to have a chemist or an expert in chemistry analyze the drug on the synthetic marijuana and compare that drug to the THC in marijuana. If they’re not substantially similar, then the case against you will weaken. Again, the chemical blend can change faster than the government can make substances illegal.
- There was no “Representation of Intention” that the chemical would have a similar or greater effect – The focus here is on the use of the drug. The purpose of the synthetic marijuana in our example must be to produce a similar high to marijuana. This can be easier for the state to prove, and can be proved by statements made to you or statements made by you. It can also be proved by the way it is found on you. For example, when police stopped you, was the K2 or Spice in a bowl? Did you have it rolled up in a blunt? These are situations where the intent can be inferred from the situation. You were going to smoke the synthetic marijuana to get high.
Summary of Synthetic Marijuana Law in Texas
As long as marijuana is illegal in Texas, synthetic marijuana is an attractive alternative. We’ve seen plenty of news about synthetic marijuana and the damage and health problems it causes. Recent changes in the law have aimed at stopping the widespread use of K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie, Zohai and others. As the chemical mixtures change on these products, the laws will adapt. These products are already on the national, state, and local news. Jail time is a real possibility that you face if you’re caught with synthetic marijuana in Texas. Don’t risk your health, safety or criminal record.