As a seasoned Omaha drug crimes defense lawyer, Daniel Stockmann mostly focuses his practice on helping people accused of marijuana charges. However, synthetic marijuana, often called K2, spice, or spike, has become a huge problem across the United States, particularly in areas where marijuana is outlawed.
What K2 is (and Isn’t)
A lot of people turn to K2 and other similar synthetic marijuana products because they “promise” the same high that marijuana does. However, the high associated with marijuana comes from the component THC, which is naturally found in different concentrations in cannabis. K2, on the other hand, usually consists of some type of dried plant matter which is then sprayed with artificial chemicals designed to work similarly to THC. This creates a problem we’re seeing all over the US, in which synthetic drugs don’t work exactly like the original and tend to make people sick or die. Poison control center records indicate incidents involving synthetics are on the rise nationally, with 2,668 calls involving possible poisoning issues from synthetics in 2013 to 7,794 calls in 2015, according to data gathered by the Journal Star. Though laws have cracked down on the sale of K2, chemists are trying to stay one step ahead by changing the formula slightly, so that new strains can be put on the market. These are then sold in all kinds of stores and marketed as potpourri or incense, but people buy it intending to smoke it, hoping for a marijuana-like high.
The Rise (and Fall) of K2 in Nebraska
Lincoln was struggling with a major K2 problem. In a single month in 2015, 120 people were hospitalized for synthetic marijuana-related issues. Law enforcement was able to pinpoint that two shops were responsible for most of the local sales and conducted a sting. The same month that 120 were hospitalized, a clerk at one sold one-third of an ounce of the synthetic to an undercover agent and the enterprise fell apart from there. “It all looked like it was all legitimate. It was clean,” one of the clerks explained when she pled guilty to distributing and aiding and abetting the distribution of methanone. She told authorities that she only sold the substance because the shop owner told her the often deadly chemicals had been removed. As a result of the bust, each of the shop owners face more than 175 years in prison, while the number of hospitalizations has reduced to one or two following the closure of the stores.
Speak with an Experienced Omaha Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
It’s good to know that Nebraska is a little bit safer because of the exit of K2, but this story also has a valuable lesson. Ignorance is not an excuse in the eyes of the law and if you’re caught with an illegal substance or distributing one, the consequences will be severe. If you’ve been accused of a drug crime or have reason to believe you’re under investigation, get in touch with an experienced Omaha drug crimes defense lawyer. Attorney Daniel Stockmann has been serving the area for nearly two decades and fights aggressively for his clients. Call (844) 906-0641 for your free case evaluation with Mr. Stockmann today.