Synthetic marijuana can have serious effects on the brain and an individual's ability to drive while in Cobb County. Georgia has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, and when a driver is under the influence of synthetic marijuana it is no exception.
If you or someone you care for has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of synthetic marijuana, an experienced Cobb County DUI attorney can fight to protect your rights and your right to drive.
Synthetic Marijuana: What is it?
Synthetic marijuana is a product that is intended to mimic actual marijuana but is far from the same. Synthetic marijuana usually consists of a plant or plant-like material which is then sprayed with various chemicals. Common sprayed chemicals include high-proof alcohol, acetone solvents, manmade cannabinoids, or other illicit drugs (LSD, "bath salts," etc.).
The synthetic compounds sprayed onto the plant or plant-like material can be incredibly unpredictable, and the effects can vary widely. Synthetic cannabinoids are often shipped from overseas, usually China, and are then prepared in the United States by amateur manufacturers.
Alternative Names for Synthetic Marijuana
Synthetic marijuana is often sold on the internet, or in smoke shops in brightly colored packaging under a variety of names, such as K2, Spice, Scooby Snax, Kush, Kronic, Joker, and Black Mamba.
Effects of Synthetic Marijuana
Many users of synthetic marijuana report effects similar to those caused by regular marijuana, including:
- elevated mood,
- altered perception (altered awareness of surrounding circumstances and objects),
- symptoms of psychosis (disordered or delusional thinking not in tune with reality).
However, synthetic marijuana can be more dangerous, depending on the chemicals included. The psychotic effects often include:
- extreme level of anxiety,
- hallucinations, and
- extreme paranoia and distrust of others.
Physical effects include:
- loss of depth perception,
- rapid heart rate,
- violent behavior,
- inability to accurately control motor functions, and
- suicidal thoughts or behavior.
Is Synthetic Marijuana Illegal?
Synthetic marijuana is illegal in the State of Georgia. Georgia outlawed the possession and sale of synthetic marijuana in 2012 and named the bill Chase's Law after a 16-year-old died after using the drug.
Synthetic marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that it has no accepted medical usage and carries prison time of up to 15 years even for a first conviction. If convicted of DUI while under the influence of synthetic marijuana, you will face Georgia's strict DUI penalties and the likely loss of your driver's license.
Defending Your Case
With the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer, you can raise defenses to possibly reduce or dismiss your charges, including the following.
- Your consumption of synthetic marijuana did not overly influence your ability to drive.
- The initial traffic stop was unconstitutional.
- A DUI checkpoint did not meet the required standards.
- Challenge the accuracy of field sobriety tests.
Consult a Cobb County DUI Attorney
Synthetic marijuana can cause the kinds of effects that will lead to a Georgia DUI. However, it is not true in every case that consumption equals intoxication. Just because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty.