Not All “Smiles” For Those Charged Under Florida Synthetic Drug Bans

There's a new designer drug on Florida's streets, and it's got concerned citizens in an uproar. Known as "smiles," the new synthetic compound has been linked to violent behavior and even several deaths.

Makers of synthetic drugs are constantly working to create new chemical compounds that stay ahead of laws that ban specific substances. But as the law becomes more complex, store owners who sell potpourri, incense and other seemingly innocuous substances have to be increasingly on the lookout to ensure they're not peddling illegal drugs.

Smiles One of a Growing Number of Banned Designer Drugs

Smiles is a synthetic hallucinogen otherwise known as 2C-I. It's most commonly sold as a powder that can be easily mixed with candy or chocolate before ingesting, but it is also available in pill form. Smiles causes intense auditory and visual hallucinations that can last for days.

Florida lawmakers recently took a stance against designer drugs by banning the popular synthetic compounds known as Spice and K-2. Florida's drug statutes now list a stunning array of illegal compounds in varying amounts and concentrations, with numbers reaching well into the triple digits. Individual Florida communities are also striking out on their own with ordinances aimed at encompassing an even broader range of drugs.

For their part, the DEA was quick to classify 2C-I as a Schedule 1 substance, making it illegal to manufacture, distribute or possess.

Charged With a Florida Drug Crime? Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

With the evolutionary arms race between synthetic drug makers and lawmakers who target them, it can be difficult to know exactly which compounds are illegal and which are not. In addition, in the rush to fight the perceived boogeyman of synthetic drugs, law enforcement officers may be overstepping their bounds and violating the rights of those accusing of peddling or possessing synthetic drugs.

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Florida, it is important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can get evidence that was collected in violation of your rights thrown out, can call into question the credibility of police officers and other witnesses who may testify against you, and can negotiate with prosecutors in an attempt to get charges reduced or dropped.

Penalties for making or selling a Schedule 1 substance can add up to years in prison if you are convicted. Don't let Florida's confusing array of drug laws send you to the slammer; talk to a criminal defense attorney today.