Milwaukee begins crackdown on synthetic marijuana

Milwaukee begins crackdown on synthetic marijuana

Milwaukee is beginning to crack down on manufacturers and sellers of synthetic marijuana. Though few drug charges related to synthetic marijuana have been formally prosecuted in Wisconsin’s courts to date, that trend appears to be changing.

This month, a regular traffic stop ultimately ended in the confiscation of more than 10 pounds of synthetic marijuana from a suspected seller. A wholesale supplier’s stash was similarly confiscated when his home was searched. During the investigation, law enforcement uncovered more than 100 pounds of the substance, wrapped in more than 20,000 packages.

Synthetic marijuana is not actually a marijuana substitute. Though it can be smoked and can produce a high similar to one induced by smoking marijuana, the synthetic substance is made in massive chemical factories and contains a variety of inorganic components. The drugs are also known by the names Spice, K2 and G-13.

Law enforcement is cracking down on the production and sale of these substances, partially because the public has been lulled into a false sense of safety about them. Variations of synthetic marijuana are often sold in convenience stores, because they are marketed to appear harmless. In fact, synthetic marijuana is being linked to heart attacks and other heath risks, primarily among young adults.

It is vitally important that the public become educated about these substances, before law enforcement further cracks down on sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana. Without this education, unsuspecting entrepreneurs could be caught red-handed in possession of a substance they were not even aware is forbidden.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Traffic stop leads to big synthetic marijuana bust,” Gitte Laasby, Feb. 11, 2012