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Raleigh, NC 27601

Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids (commonly referred to as synthetic marijuana) have become more popular in recent years because such designer drugs could often be legally sold as "potpourri" or "incense." While many synthetic drugs are sold with the label of “Not for Human Consumption,” the products mimic the effect of marijuana or other illegal drugs without containing any actual controlled substances.

In most cases, synthetic cannabinoids contain no cannabis but are instead foliage herb bases such as lemongrass or hops that have been sprayed with psychoactive chemicals. Federal and state agencies routinely add these chemical compounds to the lists of prohibited controlled substances, but the chemists are always one step ahead and simply respond to new prohibitions by creating new chemicals by making only a few minor tweaks in the chemical’s formula.

In many ways, prohibition of synthetic cannabinoids increases the possible dangers that users are exposed to because suppliers continually create new and stronger chemicals in response to old chemicals becoming illegal. Many marijuana users turn to synthetic cannabinoids to avoid the consequences of drug testing.

Attorney for Synthetic Cannabinoids Defense in Raleigh, NC

If you were arrested for a synthetic cannabinoid crime anywhere in the Research Triangle area, you should avoid making any statement to authorities until you have legal counsel. Contact Coolidge Law Firm as soon as possible.

David Coolidge is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh who represents clients accused of marijuana crimes in Garner, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Cary, Knightdale, and many other communities throughout Wake County. Call (919) 239-8448 to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


Overview of Synthetic Cannabinoids in Wake County


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Synthetic Cannabinoids Possession Penalties in North Carolina

Synthetic marijuana is sold under many different brand names, some of which may be profane. A few of the most common brands of synthetic cannabinoids include, but are not limited to: 

Synthetic cannabinoids are classified based on their base structures. Common cannabinoid families include HU-210, HU-211, JWH-018, and JWH-073.

North Carolina General Statute § 90-95(d)(4) stipulates that if a possession of a controlled substance offense involves any quantity of synthetic THC isolated from the resin of marijuana, the crime is a Class I felony.

North Carolina uses a “structured sentencing” method of punishing convicted criminals. Sentences for alleged offenders are determined by the severity of the criminal offense combined with the offender’s prior criminal record. .

Depending on the level of felony an alleged offender has been charged with, a conviction can result in one of three kinds of punishments: an active punishment is a sentence that requires a person to be incarcerated in the state prison system, an intermediate punishment is a sentence of supervised probation that may include other possible conditions such as a short period of incarceration or house arrest, and a community punishment is any sentence other than an active or intermediate punishment.

An alleged offender is also assigned one of six prior record levels based on offenses in that person’s criminal records. Sentence ranges on the felony punishment chart are further staggered into three possible ranges: an aggravated range applies to cases with more aggravating factors, a mitigated range applies to cases with more mitigating factors, and a presumptive range is used for cases with an equal amount of or no mitigating factors and aggravating factors.

Possession of a synthetic cannabinoid is punishable as follows: (FIX THE CHART SO THAT IT FITS CORRECTLY !!!!)

 

Prior Record Level I

(0-1 point)

Prior Record Level II

(2-5 points)

Prior Record Level III

(6-9 points)

Prior Record Level IV

(10-13 points)

Prior Record Level V

(14-17 points)

Prior Record Level VI

(18+ points)

Class I

Community

Community or Intermediate

Intermediate

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Aggravated

6-8 months

6-8 months

6-8 months

8-10 months

9-11 months

10-12 months

Presumptive

4-6 months

4-6 months

5-6 months

6-8 months

7-9 months

8-10 months

Mitigated

3-4 months

3-4 months

4-5 months

4-6 months

5-7 months

6-8 months


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Trafficking in Synthetic Cannabinoids Penalties

North Carolina General Statute § 90-95(h)(1a) establishes that any person who sells, manufactures, delivers, transports, or possesses in excess of 50 dosage units of a synthetic cannabinoid or any mixture containing such substance commits the felony offense of trafficking in synthetic cannabinoids. A dosage unit is defined as 3 grams of synthetic cannabinoid or any mixture containing such substance.

Under this statute, trafficking in synthetic cannabinoids convictions are punishable as follows: 

Under North Carolina’s structured sentencing, convictions for the above offenses are punishable as follows:

 

Prior Record Level I

(0-1 point)

Prior Record Level II

(2-5 points)

Prior Record Level III

(6-9 points)

Prior Record Level IV

(10-13 points)

Prior Record Level V

(14-17 points)

Prior Record Level VI

(18+ points)

Class D

Active

Active

Active

Active

Active

Active

Aggravated

64-80 months

73-92 months

84-105 months

97-121 months

111-139 months

128-160 months

Presumptive

51-64 months

59-73 months

67-84 months

78-97 months

89-111 months

103-128 months

Mitigated

38-51 months

44-59 months

51-67 months

58-78 months

67-89 months

77-103 months

Class F

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Active

Active

Active

Aggravated

16-20 months

19-23 months

21-27 months

25-31 months

28-36 months

33-41 months

Presumptive

13-16 months

15-19 months

17-21 months

20-25 months

23-28 months

26-33 months

Mitigated

10-13 months

11-15 months

13-17 months

15-20 months

17-23 months

20-26 months

Class G

Active

Active

Active

Active

Active

Active

Aggravated

13-16 months

14-18 months

17-21 months

19-24 months

22-27 months

25-31 months

Presumptive

10-13 months

12-14 months

13-17 months

15-19 months

17-22 months

20-25 months

Mitigated

8-10 months

9-12 months

10-13 months

11-15 months

13-17 months

15-20 months

Class H

Community, Intermediate, or Active

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Intermediate or Active

Active

Aggravated

6-8 months

8-10 months

10-12 months

11-14 months

15-19 months

20-25 months

Presumptive

5-6 months

6-8 months

8-10 months

9-11 months

12-15 months

16-20 months

Mitigated

4-5 months

4-6 months

6-8 months

7-9 months

9-12 months

12-16 months 


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North Carolina Synthetic Cannabinoid Resources

Synthetic Cannabinoids | CLE Article from the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) Drug Seminar — View the full text of an article presented during a drug seminar sponsored by the TCDLA in 2014. The article discusses the history, manufacture, and sale of synthetic cannabinoids. You can also learn about many of the chemicals involved, including Huffman chemicals (JWH-001, JWH-450, etc.), Hebrew University chemicals (HU-210, HU-239, etc.), and Makriyannis chemicals (AM-694, AM-2201, etc.). 

DrugFacts: Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2/Spice) | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — The mission of NIDA is “to advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.” Visit this section of the NIDA website to learn more about synthetic cannabinoids. You can find information about effects on the brain and other health effects.


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Find a Synthetic Cannabinoids Defense Lawyer in Raleigh, NC

Were you arrested for a synthetic cannabinoid crime in the Research Triangle? Coolidge Law Firm represents individuals in Morrisville, Wendell, Zebulon, Raleigh, Wake Forest, Rolesville, and many surrounding areas of Wake County.

Raleigh criminal defense attorney David Coolidge represents students at such local colleges as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), William Peace University, North Carolina State University (NCSU), Shaw University, Duke University, and Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech). Call (919) 239-8448 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


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David A. Coolidge
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