Bergen County NJ Synthetic Marijuana Lawyers

The use of Synthetic Marijuana, referred to statutorily in most cases as a controlled substance analog, has grown significantly in prevalence in recent years giving rise to a number of statutes and administrative regulations designed to curb its use and distribution.  Just between 2010 and 2011, the United States had an increase from 2,906 calls in 2010 to 6,955 calls in 2011 and, in New Jersey, we also saw an increase from 15 reported incidents in 2010 to 146 incidents in 2011. In New Jersey, this rise in reported incidents gave rise to Pamela’s Law, a statute enacted in late 2011 defining certain compounds that will now be regarded as Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substances, like Marijuana, and, more recently, an administrative regulation from the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety that more specifically defined which compounds will be deemed synthetic cannabinoids.  This last administrative regulation took effect just recently in November 2012.

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Synthetic Marijuana: 2C:35-10.3a

The synthetic compounds that are now regarded as Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substances are any and all substances, salts, isomers, salts of isomers, homologues, and analogs that contain:

          • Naphthoylindoles
          • Naphthylmethylindoles
          • Naphthoylpyrroles
          • Naphthylmethylindenes
          • Phenylacetylindoles
          • Cyclohexylphenols
          • Benzoylindoles
          • [2,3-Dihydro-5-methyl-3-(4-morpholinylmethyl)pyrrolo[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl]-1-napthalenylmethanone
          • (6aR,10aR)-9-(hydroxymethyl)-6, 6-dimethyl-3-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)-6a,7,10,10a-tetrahydrobenzo[c]chromen-1-01 7370.
          • Adamantoylindoles

However, even if a certain compound is not listed above, this does not mean that it is necessarily legal.  The last statement of the order adds, in relevant part, “Any other synthetic chemical compound that is a cannabinoid receptor agonist and mimics the pharmacological effect of naturally occurring cannabinoids that is not listed in Schedules II through V or is not and FDA approved drug.”  This means that even if a particular substance is not listed among the ones that are banned the state may deem them as an illegal substance if they react in such a way as to mimic the natural effects of marijuana.

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Penalties for Synthetic Marijuana

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.3a, if the defendant is caught possessing one ounce or more of synthetic marijuana they will be charged with a third degree indictable (felony) offense. If convicted of a third degree offense, the defendant will be facing up to five years in a New Jersey State Prison. If the defendant is caught possessing under one ounce of synthetic marijuana, they will be charged with a fourth degree indictable offense and if convicted the defendant will be facing up to eighteen months in a New Jersey State Prison.

Depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history they may be eligible for a couple of New Jersey’s diversionary programs; Pre Trial Intervention or Drug Court. If the defendant is eligible for the Pre Trial Intervention Program, they will be afforded the opportunity to walk away from this otherwise serious charge without a criminal record let alone no jail time. However, if the defendant is ineligible for Pre Trial Intervention, they may be eligible for Drug Court. If the defendant is eligible for drug court, they will be afforded the opportunity to avoid all incarceration if they can complete an intensive out patient rehabilitation program.

Palisades Interstate Park NJ Syntehtic Marijuana Possession Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been caught with one of these substances or any other analog substance, it is important to know that this is a serious offense treated as possession of a controlled dangerous substance and you should not be without representation from an expert on the subject of drug possession defense.  Here at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of combined litigation and criminal defense experience. We have been successfully representing individuals charged with possessing and distributing synthetic marijuana throughout Bergen County in towns like Fort Lee, Elmwood Park, Palisades Interstate Park, River Vale, Saddle River, Englewood Cliffs, Fair Lawn, Lodi, Montvale, Bergenfield, Tenafly, and Garfield for over fifteen years.  Our lawyers stand ready to defend you against any and all charges. Please feel free to contact us at one of our conveniently located Bergen County Offices.