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Health crisis spurs potential ban on synthetic drugs

On Aug. 26, the Los Angeles City Council adopted an emergency measure that requests an ordinance be created to ban synthetic drugs such as spice. That particular drug was blamed on an outbreak that left 50 people dead in the Skid Row part of downtown. If created, the ordinance would ban the use, sale and possession of novel synthetic or psychoactive drugs. It also calls on the governor of California to close loopholes in other laws already banning such substances.

While it is generally illegal to possess the materials needed to make spice and similar creations, recipes may be changed to get around the laws. One of the council members also urged authorities to treat the problem as a health issue as opposed to a law enforcement issue. As synthetic drugs are cheaper, they tend to be used by those who may be already be among the most vulnerable in the community.

According to authorities, the average cost of spice is about $1 for two joints that create a high lasting for up to six hours. An outreach program has begun that will attempt to educate users and those who may know users about its potential effects. Furthermore, officials are going to look into how other cities have worked with federal authorities to combat the problem.

Individuals who are facing drug charges may want to speak with an attorney about casting doubt on the charge. This may be done by arguing that an individual didn't know that what he or she possessed was an illegal substance. It may also be possible to argue that an individual was coerced into consuming or selling an illegal substance. If successful, it may be possible to have charges dropped or reduced through plea negotiations.

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