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Two Baton Rouge men charged with selling synthetic marijuana

On Thursday, a grand jury in East Baton Rouge indicted two Baton Rouge men on drug and weapons charges. The charges came after the pair was accused of selling synthetic marijuana from a convenience store on Florida Boulevard. Both men were indicted on two counts of possession with intent to distribute narcotics and one counts of illegal carrying of a weapon.

Detectives investigated the convenience store prior to conducting a search. When they did search it, they reportedly found 216 packets of synthetic marijuana were seized from the convenience store on January 13, along with $154,375 in cash, a 9 mm handgun, and an AK-47 assault rifle.

On February 14, the convenience store's alcohol license was suspended. Several other businesses in the Baton Rouge area also had their alcohol licenses removed following the discovery of illegal distribution of marijuana.

Synthetic marijuana has been illegal in Louisiana since August 15, 2010. The substance is an herbal and chemical compound that mimics the effects of marijuana when smoked. These products include a variety of synthetic chemicals. Louisiana's ban includes four specific substances known to be particularly potent synthetic cannabinoids, but there are a number of others on the market which aren't banned.

The consequences of a conviction under the ban can be serious. Those convicted for possession with the intent to distribute a banned substance may face up to a $50,000 fine and between 5 and 30 years in jail.

Vendors selling such products should consult an attorney to determine whether the specific products they sell are illegal, and those who've been charged for selling illegal products should consult an attorney to determine the best way to defend themselves and protect their rights.

Source: The Advocate, "BR men accused of selling fake pot," Joe Gyan JR.," March 9, 2012.

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