Synthetic drugs have become a problem in recent years, not only from the standpoint of public health and safety, but also from the standpoint of criminal prosecution. Those who have followed the news regarding synthetic drugs in recent years know that prosecutors have trouble keeping up with the latest developments in the drugs, and in many cases must continually update laws banning synthetic drugs to ensure there is an adequate legal basis to support prosecution for new synthetic drugs coming out on the market.
Here in Florida, one of the newer synthetics causing problems is flakka, a highly addictive substance often imported from China which can give users a quick high at the risk of engaging in dangerous and uncontrollable behavior. The flakka craze has spiraled out of control in certain parts of Florida such as Broward County, triggering education and training efforts.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi plans to pursue legislation that would ban all types of synthetic drugs. The law is unique in that it wouldn’t require lawmakers to continually update the law for every new drug that comes out on the market. For prosecutors, the proposal would make matters much easier since synthetic drugs would be under a blanket prohibition.
Those who have been charged with a synthetic drug crime here in Florida need to be aware that they have the right to defend themselves. Gaps in the law are not the only potential basis for mounting a defense in synthetic drug cases. Working with an experienced attorney is important to ensure that one’s case receives the time and attention necessary to fully protect one’s rights and make sure that prosecutors do their job correctly.
Orlando Weekly, “Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi wants law to ban all synthetic drugs, including flakka,” Erin Sullivan, Jan. 5, 2016.
NBC News, “‘Devil’s Drug’: Flakka Is Driving Florida Insane,” Cynthia McFdden, Aliza Nadi and Tracy Connor, Dec. 21, 2015.