New Designer Drugs Pose a Problem for Forensic Science

Recently Gov. Corbett signed a law banning bath salts and other forms of synthetic marijuana and drugs.  However, even before the ink dried, the inevitable happened: People made new drugs.  From synthetic drugs to exotic plants to cleaners and chemicals, people have found new ways to get high and continue the cat-and-mouse game with the law.

Bath Salts and other drugs are causing problems for the forensic community
Bath Salts and other drugs are causing problems for the forensic community

New products in works to replace banned bath salts, synthetic pot, salvia

When horror stories about bath salts and synthetic marijuana began circulating, lawmakers in Pennsylvania acted swiftly to ban the so-called fake drugs.

But manufacturers are even quicker.

Today is the first day that brands of bath salts, synthetic pot and salvia are illegal in this state.

By Wednesday, a yet-to-be-named product will be on the shelves of at least one local head shop, promising to have the same effects of synthetic marijuana.

These new drugs create a huge problem for the forensic community. Every chemical has different properties and produces different results on blood tests (see our series on DUI blood testing) and creates a unique spectrum potentially.  It takes a great deal of research to establish the the standard of how a chemical should be tested and how it’s instrumental results should look.  Currently, many labs are using non-validated methods which can result in false positives, false conclusions, and false convictions.

This is why any case involving new drugs should be handled by an attorney with a strong background in forensic science and in particular analytical chemistry.  Whether its a possession case or a DUI drug case, the toxicology reports need to be examined by a defense attorney who specializes in these types of cases.  PA DUI Attorney Justin McShane of the McShane Firm is a well respected forensic lawyer-scientist who has lectured at scientific seminars and even publishes a highly followed forensic science blog.  Call 1-866-MCSHANE for a free case review and consultation.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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