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Florida Drug Defense Attorney > Blog > Drug Crime Defense > How Illegal Are Designer Drugs?

How Illegal Are Designer Drugs?


“Designer drugs” is a misleading name; it sounds like they are new, fashionable drugs, available only to celebrities and to people with great connections.  The term calls to mind designer clothing, handbags, and sunglasses, but designer drugs are something less glamorous.  The definition of a designer drug includes any psychoactive chemical that has a similar effect to a known illegal drug but which has yet to be legally categorized into one of the five schedules of controlled substances.  Perhaps knockoff drugs is a better name than designer drugs.  Just as a real Louis Vuitton and a fake Louis Vuitton are equally capable of holding your wallet and car keys, fake fentanyl can kill just as efficiently as real fentanyl.  Fake fentanyl also does as good a job as real fentanyl when it comes to keeping its poker face on when a drug dealer in person or online claims to be selling you oxycodone, methamphetamine, or some other drug.  The legal consequences for drug crimes derive from the drugs you have, not from the drugs you wish you had or from what the drugs in your car want to be when they grow up.  If you are facing legal trouble after police claim to have found designer drugs in your car, contact a Florida drug offense attorney.

The Federal Analogue Act

Researchers are always looking for new pharmaceutical drugs and experimenting with ways to make existing drugs safer, more effective, and less expensive.  Sometimes these drugs make their way into the drug supply, often because people are able to synthesize them after reading the published research about them.  Many of these are just a few atoms different from recognized controlled substances, and so although their effects are similar, they are technically not the same drug, much as the Nile crocodile and the West African crocodile have just enough differences in their DNA to count as two separate species, even though they look almost identical.  To close this legal loophole, the federal government enacted the Federal Analogue Act in 1986, criminalizing the possession, manufacture, and sale of analogues (that is, knockoffs) of schedule I and schedule II controlled substances.

Beware of Fentanyl Analogues

Although it has accepted medical uses in small doses, fentanyl is a deadly drug; it is about 50 times as strong as heroin.  Fentanyl analogues such as etonitazene, etonitazene, and etonitazene, are equally deadly.  Recently, isotonitazene received an official classification as a schedule I controlled substance.  Morphine, a fentanyl analogue first described in a research paper in 2018, has become increasingly widespread since the official scheduling of etonitazene.  The legal consequences for possessing designer drugs that the Controlled Substances Act has yet to deal with can be serious, so if you are being accused of possessing these drugs, you need a lawyer.

Contact FL Drug Defense Group About Criminal Charges for Possession of Fentanyl Analogues

A Central Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you get caught in possession of an analogue of fentanyl or another dangerous controlled substance.  Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.



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