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Are ‘Designer Drugs’ Still a Thing in Michigan? Oh Yes, They Are!

If the term ‘designer drugs‘ isn’t one you’re familiar with, consider yourself lucky. Although perhaps we should take a moment to explain, since the word ‘designer’ can be a bit misleading in this case. While a designer purse or dress or perfume implies something finely crafted by someone whose creativity is celebrated in their industry, a designer drug doesn’t quite fall into the same category. 

A pile of different pills in a spoon

Instead, designer drugs (which are also known as analog drugs) are a category of substances synthetically created to mimic naturally occurring substances (like cocaine, heroin or marijuana). But when they’re created in the lab, their chemical components are tweaked, resulting in a different (and entirely synthetic) drug, like ketamine, LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy), and methamphetamines.

Where do they come from and how do you get them?

Designer drugs are made in labs and can be sourced from all kinds of people and places. Some are made locally in your neighborhood (like meth, which is made in labs all over the country, and even right here in Lansing, Kalamazoo and Novi!). Some are made in other countries and can be easily (and even sometimes legally) purchased online under street names. For example, ‘K2’ and ‘Spice’ are names for two types of synthetic marijuana products.

Although both federal and state law have made many designer drugs illegal, the reality is that all it takes are a few minor tweaks to adjust the compounds in a drug, changing what it is and how it works, and also its legal status. Designer drug creators stay ahead of the law by continually changing the chemical structure of the drugs they create, so when one thing becomes illegal, they simply alter it and keep right on selling it as something different.

What does the law say about designer drugs?

In 2012, the federal government passed The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act, which made it illegal to make or sell any type of synthetic substance that mimics cannabinoids (weed). It also made several types of synthetic hallucinogens illegal. But because the law is very specific about what is illegal, it’s not hard for designer drug creators to simply alter the chemical compounds of their products to get around the legal descriptions and create something that is equally dangerous, but is now legal to sell and buy.

Unfortunately, the fact that these legal drugs are marketed as ‘legal highs’ is what makes them so dangerous. Teens here in Brighton, Charlotte, St. Johns and Mt. Pleasant see that something is ‘legal’ and make the mistake of assuming that this means it’s also safe. As a result, because designer drugs are completely unregulated, kids end up taking drugs that can cause seizures, organ failure, mental health problems, and even death

Being charged with making or selling designer drugs is serious!

Under Michigan law, use of an analog drug is a misdemeanor, making, selling, or even just possessing an analog drug is a felony! Anyone convicted of possession of an analog drug will face the possibility of up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $2,000, or both. And selling analog drugs is even more serious. Anyone sentenced for producing designer drugs in Michigan could end up behind bars for up to 15 years. That’s a very big deal! And that’s where we come in. Federal penalties are even more harsh. 

Here at The Kronzek Firm, our aggressive and hard-working drug crimes defense attorneys have spent decades defending people from Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ionia and Oakland County to fight drug charges. If you’re up against an allegation of producing or selling designer drugs anywhere in Michigan’s lower peninsula, call 866 766 5245 today and make sure your legal team is one of the best. Drug crimes are serious, but so are we when it comes to our client’s rights and future. We have a long record of success fighting drug charges.

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