“Mr. Smiley” seems like a friendly term; however, this epithet actually refers to a synthetic drug. Synthetic drugs are like plant-generated illegal drugs, but they are manmade. Instead of marijuana from a tree, for example, manufacturers produce synthetic versions of the drug via chemical formulas and compounds.
These drugs first appeared on the market in 2009. Since, they have become more and more popular – especially among teens. Manufactures often portray synthetic drugs as harmless household items, so it is easy for users to engage in the market.
The manufacturing, sale and use of synthetic drugs are growing in the United States. The federal government and all but 12 states have banned these substances, as they are viewed in the same light as plant-based drugs. However, makers are getting around the laws. To circumvent the restrictions, manufacturers are constantly evolving chemical formulas of drugs to dodge existing mandates. As soon as the government bans a particular compound, producers alter the molecular structure of the specific synthetic product, making the drug and its composition within the ambits of the law.
Nevertheless, authorities are arduously against such manmade substances. In fact, authorities believe that they are dangerous. Specifically, constantly changing the composition of these substances may subject users to harm. Moreover, authorities do not know much about these products, and it does not help that they are constantly transforming.
With such a push against these substances, many states have created legislation to combat the production, sale and use of synthetic drugs. Florida recently outlawed several forms of manmade drugs – more than 90 types. In this legislative change, the state expanded the number of prohibited hallucinogens in Schedule I of the Florida Comprehensive Abuse Prevention and Control Act. It now incorporates many manmade drug products.
Under the new mandates, possession of these drugs constitutes a third-degree felony in Florida, which is punishable by up to five years behind bars and a $5,000 penalty. If the possessor intends to sale, the penalties are more. This is punishable by up to 15 years locked up and a $10,000 fine. Trafficking these substances is considered a first-degree felony with penalties including 30 years locked up and a $10,000 fine.
If you have been charged with a synthetic drug crime, take the time to meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The law is not lenient when it comes to manmade illegal drugs. Therefore, it helps to work with a legal professional when presented with these charges.