Use of Synthetic Marijuana Now Criminal Offense

A bill that criminalizes the manufacture, sale and possession of synthetic marijuana was signed into law Monday, May 20, 2013 by Gov. Chris Christie. The possession of fake pot will now carry real charges.

Under the law, producing and selling one or more ounces of synthetic marijuana is now a second-degree crime, and producing or selling less than an ounce is a third-degree crime. The bill also established third- and fourth-degree crimes for possession of synthetic marijuana.

Last year, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced a statewide ban on the manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of any of the hundreds of chemicals designed to mimic the effects of marijuana, commonly called "synthetic marijuana," "K2," or "Spice." The Attorney General said the number of synthetic marijuana exposures that were reported to poison control centers increased by 139% nationwide, and by 711% in New Jersey alone between 2010 and 2011. Of the reported cases in New Jersey, 92% resulted in symptoms that required treatment in a healthcare facility.

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