For several years, people have had to buy illegal drugs through nefarious means in the underground economy of a black market. While the federal government and various state and local agencies have invested millions of dollars in attempting to end the supply of controlled substances in the United States, countless people still use their own personal connections to seek out ways to purchase controlled substances.
More recently, there has been a sharp increase in the number of people who are using man-made synthetic substances in order to get their highs. The popularity of these kinds of drugs was largely based in their legality as many synthetic substances could be purchased at regular head shops or gas stations, but both the federal government and Nevada lawmakers have been routinely updating existing drug laws to criminalize the possession and sale of these types of substances.
If you have been arrested for allegedly possessing a synthetic substance in the Silver State, you should know that these types of criminal charges are extraordinarily complex. Certain compounds classified as illegal by the Nevada Pharmacy Board may not be listed under the schedules of controlled substances in the Nevada Revised Statutes.
Clark County synthetic drugs attorney Jeffrey Jaeger is the co-author of Westlaw’s Courtroom Handbook on Nevada Evidence, which is utilized by judges and lawyers throughout Nevada. He can determine when certain alleged “psychoactive drugs” do not actually contain any controlled substances. You can have The Law Offices of Jeffrey Jaeger review of your case by calling (702) 816-3888 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
These types of drugs are called synthetic because they usually consist of substances man-made with chemical compounds that are designed to mimic the effects of other illegal drugs. It is increasingly difficult for lawmakers to stamp out synthetic substances because when one is classified as illegal, underground chemists will simply change one ingredient and thus make the new version legal again.
Furthermore, lawmakers cannot simply criminalize all synthetic creations as there are many such creations which could have profound benefits to society. Nevada law has focused more on criminalizing substances based on their makeup rather than their psychoactive effects, which further proves the old axiom that the chemists will always be one step ahead of the testers and lawmakers.
Some of the most common synthetic drugs involved in criminal charges include the following, all of which are classified as Schedule I controlled substances in Nevada:
Cannabinoids are intended to mimic the effects of THC in marijuana. These types of drugs are often plants that are sprayed with chemical substances and may be sold as “potpourri.” Some of the common brands of synthetic marijuana include:
Nevada’s schedule of controlled substances includes tetrahydrocannabinols, synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in cannabis or in the resinous extractives of cannabis, or synthetic substances, derivatives, and their isomers with similar chemical structure and pharmacological activity.
Synthetic cathinones containing mephedrone or methylone are often intended to mimic 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), cocaine, crystal meth, or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Bath salts may come in powder, tablet, or liquid form.
A white crystal substance commonly referred to by the street name “gravel,” flakka is typically smoked, injected, snorted, or ingested. It is made from a compound called alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (or alpha-PVP), which is a chemical realted to the cathinones used in bath salts. Thus, while the chemicals used in bath salts that the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) banned in 2011, alpha-PVP remains legal in many states.
The simple mere possession of a synthetic substance is one of the most common criminal charges that people face in Nevada. Under Nevada Revised Statute § 453.336, it is illegal for a person to knowingly or intentionally possess one of these drugs.
When an alleged offender is charged with possessing a synthetic drug, the possible penalties will depend on whether he or she has been previously convicted of this offense:
Another frequent crime people are charged with relating to these kinds of drugs is either sale of a controlled substance or possession with the intent to sell. The difference between the two largely depends on the kind of evidence that law enforcement has against an alleged offender.
Nevada Revised Statute § 453.337 criminalizes the possession of schedule I controlled substances for the purpose of sale. The concept of “intent to sell” is always a tricky determination for prosecutors to prove, but they will frequently pursue these charges if an alleged offender was arrested with a large amount of a controlled substance, the drugs were stored in individual containers such as plastic baggies, or the alleged offender was apprehended while carrying a large amount of cash.
Much like basic possession charges, the penalties for a person convicted of possession of a synthetic drug with intent to sell increase with subsequent offenses:
Additionally, Nevada Revised Statute § 453.321 makes it illegal for a person to import, transport, sell, exchange, barter, supply, prescribe, dispense, give away, administer, manufacture, or compound a synthetic drug. It is also against the law to offer or attempt to do any of these activities.
The possible sentences that may result if a person is convicted of selling a synthetic substance include:
Have you been charged with a synthetic controlled substance crime in the Las Vegas area? The Law Offices of Jeffrey Jaeger aggressively defends clients arrested in various areas of Clark County.
Jeffrey Jaeger fights to protect the rights of people arrested anywhere on the Vegas Strip or in communities such as North Las Vegas and Henderson. You can have Las Vegas synthetic drugs attorney Jeffrey Jaeger provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (702) 816-3888 right now to set up a free initial consultation.
Stay up-to-date on the latest legal news in the Silver State. Las Vegas attorney Jeffrey Jaeger discusses important developments in Nevada Appellate Courts.