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What is synthetic marijuana (and is it legal in Texas)?

If you live in Texas, you are aware that the authorities take a determinedly grim view of the possession or use of marijuana.

But, what about synthetic marijuana? Known by such colorful names as "K2," "Kush" and "Spice," synthetic cannabinoids are chemical concoctions that are designed to produce a high similar to the real thing. (Unfortunately, some of the chemicals used in those synthetic blends have proven to be dangerous and toxic.)

Synthetic marijuana is often repackaged and reformulated under a variety of names. The products are sometimes offered for sale in gas stations, convenience stores, head shops, novelty stores and on the street. The packages may even be designed to look like incense or potpourri to make them seem like ordinary products you might find anywhere. For many people, this has caused a lot of confusion about the legality of synthetic marijuana.

Make no mistake: Possession of synthetic marijuana is illegal in Texas, no matter where you buy it or how it is disguised. Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act (Section 481.1031), any substance that mimics the effects of marijuana is treated the same as actual marijuana. That means that the potential penalties you face for being caught with Spice, K2 or any other version of synthetic marijuana are also the same.

That last fact is particularly important to remember because the penalties for possession of marijuana increase according to the amount of the substance that's found in your possession at the time of your arrest.

Make no mistake -- in Texas, being arrested for possession of synthetic marijuana is still a serious charge. You should speak to an experienced defense attorney as quickly as possible to best protect your rights.

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