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State lawmakers ban slew of new synthetic drugs

Synthetic drugs are dangerous--they can trigger a variety of unpredictable behaviors, as well as psychosis, and can cause various adverse health effects. The spread of synthetic drugs in recent years has been a challenge for law enforcement and prosecutors to deal with. Because many drug manufacturers attempt to create drugs that make it past loopholes in existing laws, it isn't always possible to prosecute for possession of such drugs.

Louisiana lawmakers have taken steps to keep pace with the continuous developments in synthetic drugs by passing a bill that adds several varieties of dangerous synthetic drugs. The bill also adds certain chemical groups to a listing of illegal stimulants known as cathinones. 

Several forms of synthetic drugs have already been banned by state lawmakers, but the new law allows law enforcement to arrest those who attempt to sidestep the law the modifying the chemical composition of the drugs.

The law covers a great variety of drugs that were not covered by the state's initial ban in 2010. It isn't entirely clear how illegal drug manufacturers will respond to the bill, how creative they will become, but the law gives law enforcement and prosecutors a much wider basis for pursuing criminal charges.

When an individual is charged with a drug crime, it is critical that the charges are properly founded, not only in law but also in fact. Without a law to back up the charges, there is no case, and without facts to support the charges, there is no case. The task of a defense attorney is to ensure that the defendant receives the best possible protection and that prosecutors are doing their job properly. 

Source: The Advocate, "New law widens ban on synthetic drugs," Jim Mustian, May 28, 2013.

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