New Bill to Crack Down on Synthetic Marijuana in Illinois

Posted on in Drug Crimes

IL defense lawyerA new bill that was signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will amend the Illinois Controlled Substance Act to include more synthetic forms of marijuana, also known as synthetic cannabinoids. Senate Bill 2341, which was sponsored by Senator Jacqueline Collins, was created to hopefully severely limit the availability of these kinds of drugs, many of which have unknown side effects and some of which are known to be deadly. Manufacturers and those in possession of synthetic cannabinoids will be affected by this bill.

Bill Closes a Loophole in Law

Prior to this bill, there were many synthetic cannabinoids that were already illegal, but manufacturers could easily get around the law by making an insignificant change in the drug’s chemical structures. By making small changes, manufacturers could still sell the synthetic cannabinoid substances and avoid criminal charges because the new chemical structure was not illegal yet. The revised Controlled Substance Act provides that all synthetic cannabinoids are now illegal if they are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or if they are misused.

Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked to Deaths in Illinois

Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made chemicals that are often sold under names like “Spice” or “K2” and are used as an alternative to marijuana. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that synthetic cannabinoids are dangerous and pose a great health risk to those who consume them. Symptoms of synthetic cannabinoids include:

  • Rapid heart rate;
  • Vomiting;
  • Agitation;
  • Confusion; and
  • Hallucinations.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has also reported that there have been many cases of severe bleeding in people who have consumed contaminated synthetic cannabinoids. Some of those cases resulted in death and other states have reported similar cases.

Consequences for Synthetic Cannabinoids

The new law, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, makes it so manufacturers will be charged with a Class 3 felony, which carries a possible sentence of two to five years in prison, and those in possession of synthetic cannabinoids will be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries a possible sentence of one to three years in prison.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

While it may seem harmless, consuming synthetic cannabinoids can be life-threatening and manufacturing synthetic cannabinoids can result in a felony charge. If you have been accused of drug possession or manufacturing, you need the immediate help of an Arlington Heights drug crime defense attorney. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has over 23 years of experience in criminal law and can help you get the most desirable outcome from your charges. Call the office at 847-253-3400 to set up a consultation.