Over a year ago, Texas residents learned of a drug bust at a sno-cone stand. What was different about this particular case is the District Attorney was unable to press drug charges against the suspects until test results proved the substance confiscated was, in fact, illegal.
Reportedly, the substance found in the sno-cone stand has been confirmed as synthetic marijuana. The relatively new addition to the list of designer drugs is actually chemically-enhanced herbs that mimic the psychoactive properties of THC. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency fact sheet on K-2, the substance identified in this particular raid, this product is typically sold in small, silvery bags of dried leaves resembling potpourri. It is sometimes marketed as incense and can be smoked.
Thirteen months later, the results are confirmed for the authorities in this case. The problem has been that the test by which the identity of the substance is confirmed takes several months to provide results. Without this confirmation, arrests on drug charges are delayed. Processing of these cases will soon be faster because of new technology known as the Tru-Narc system. According to the District Attorney, this test would have indicated immediately that the substance found in the sno-cone stand was K-2. Based on this information, arrests could have been made then instead of so long after the raid took place.
Police believe it's likely their ability to identify a substance quickly will help reduce the synthetic marijuana market. Also, being able to identify substances that are not banned or illegal will provide immediately helpful information.
The new and untried systems that become available to law enforcement will take time to implement properly. Continuing to understand and respect the rights and protections to be afforded suspects is an important part of the process as widespread use of these tools grows.
Newschannel10.com, "Sno-cone stand synthetic drug bust" No author given, Nov. 27, 2013