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Police targeting synthetic marijuana in Baton Rouge area

According to the head of Louisiana's Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, proper chemical testing is necessary to know whether over-the-counter products contain synthetic marijuana. That testing, according to the official, can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days since the state crime lab in the Baton Rouge area has a back log.

Still, police throughout Louisiana are adamantly pursuing charges related to possessing or distributing synthetic marijuana. State lawmakers have outlawed the substance, and a number of convenience stores lost their liquor licenses last month for selling products that apparently tested positive for the drug.

So how are Louisiana residents supposed to know if a product they are selling or purchasing is illegal?

Not far away in Metairie, one store is selling a product called POW Reloaded, and a local news source relied heavily on implication in saying that the substance could be illegal. In fact, the store's Facebook page says the product complies with the rules of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. And employees at the store said the product is a potpourri not meant for human consumption.

Business owners and consumers who have concerns about synthetic marijuana will want to be fully aware of their rights under Louisiana law. If individuals are facing drug charges, a thorough analysis of the circumstances of an arrest will be necessary to protecting the rights of the accused.

Even though synthetic marijuana is a new target for Louisiana law enforcement, being convicted for possessing or selling the drug still carries serious consequences. Individuals who are facing such charges will want to prepare a strong and meaningful defense to ensure that all of the rights of the accused are upheld in court.

Source: WWLTV.com, "New herbal substance in JP raises questions about legality," Monica Hernandez, March 2, 2012

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