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National synthetic drug raid ends with 91 arrests

It is an important tenant of American law that in order to be convicted of a crime, it needs to be clear what is and what is not illegal. If legislation makes it too difficult to determine what is a violation of the law, it makes it nearly impossible to follow that law. Anyone in Berkley should be able to know that what he or she is doing is either legal or not. Unfortunately for anyone involved in the synthetic drug industry, the law is not so clear. And, now that the federal government has made its first national synthetic drug raid, many people may have been arrested thinking what they were doing was legal.

Last month, federal agents from across the country initiated Operation Log Jam. This was a raid on the synthetic drug industry and led to the arrest of 91 people. The raid came only one month after new federal legislation outlawed some of the chemical compounds used to make bath salts and synthetic marijuana. The problem, of course, is that the synthetic drug industry is always changing and the chemical compounds that make up a substance one day may be archaic the next. Without a clear understanding of just which chemical compounds were banned or some confusion as to whether related but different compounds were also banned, it is easy to see how someone could find him- or herself on the wrong side of the law.

This most recent of laws came less than one year after the federal Drug Enforcement Administration banned some of the chemicals used in synthetic drugs.

People in Berkley have seen bath salts and other synthetic drugs before. Unlike other kinds of drugs, the legal forms of bath salts or synthetic marijuana are sold in stores. When something is displayed and sold in public, it may lead to even more confusion about just what is legal and what is not.

Sadly, much of the confusion surrounding synthetic drugs doesn't seem to be easily resolvable, meaning more people may find themselves arrested and charged with federal or state drug crimes for doing something they believed to be legal.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Bath Salts Incidents Down Since DEA Banned Synthetic Drug," Michael McLaughlin, Sept. 4, 2012

Find out more about federal drug charges on our website.

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