Fake Pot Ban Leads to Aggressive Texas Drug Crime Enforcement

After Texas banned synthetic marijuana products such as Spice and K2 in 2010, it was soon followed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) the next year. The result is a host of new synthetic marijuana possession, drug trafficking and drug possession with intent to distribute investigations and prosecutions.

A recent article in the Fort Worth Weekly showed the extent to which local law enforcement has been going to investigate a local smoke shop and tattoo parlor. Police recently served a search warrant on The Dragons Breath in Bedford, then spent hours going through company files and breaching the store’s safes before seizing computer equipment and confiscating cash.

The officers also collected as evidence potpourri products that they claimed contained the chemicals that are criminalized under the synthetic marijuana law. Store assistant manager Charles Clark, a former police chief, called the search a “witch hunt” designed to shut down a business that does not have broad public support. Clark also claims that police have been harassing him due to his activism in support of marijuana legalization.

The store’s management claims that it removed all illegal products after the ban went into effect, and contends that the seized potpourri contains no synthetic cannabis. But the stakes are high, because the penalties associated with synthetic marijuana in Texas can be harsh:

Any person suspected of a drug crime should understand the importance of consulting with a criminal defense attorney, whether or not they have been charged. A drug crimes lawyer can review the circumstance of arrest or an ongoing investigation and act aggressively to protect a client’s rights and criminal record.

Source: Fort Worth Weekly, “Breathing Down Their Necks,” Jeff Prince, 2/8/2012.