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Major American city bans synthetic drug


New Jersey residents may have heard that on Aug. 14, the city of Boston banned the sale, possession or use of a substance called synthetic marijuana. It is often called K2 or Spice on the streets, and it is a mixture of chemicals and plant material mixed together. Although it is not actually marijuana, the ingredients used to create the substance mimic the high that an individual would experience from smoking it.

In 2012, there was a call for a nationwide ban of the substance, but producers of synthetic marijuana changed its formula to avoid the legal restrictions. Medical professionals say that there is a higher risk of injury or death in addition to a higher risk of erratic behavior while under the influence of the chemical cocktail. Those who are caught selling, distributing or in possession of the drug will face a fine of $300.

The substance is often times sold at gas stations or convenience stores, and it is often labeled as incense. The ban comes as proponents of legal marijuana want voters to decide whether or not to legalize it in the state of Massachusetts. Boston's mayor is himself a recovering alcoholic and has stated that he does not want marijuana to be legal in the state.

Those who are found to be in possession of or attempting to distribute illegal drugs may face serious consequences. It may be possible to spend time in prison in addition to probation and other penalties. An attorney may be able to create a defense against the drug charges such as arguing that the drugs did not belong to the defendant. In some cases, legal counsel could question the constitutionality of the search that led to the seizure of the drugs in question.

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