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Roadblocks to prosecuting for non-listed cannabis analogues: They are all over the place, including chocolate.

By Fairfax/Northern Virginia Criminal Defense/DWI lawyer Jon Katz. Pursuing the best outcome for felonies, misdemeanors, drugs, marijuana, sex crimes, prostitution, weapons, assault, and all other alleged crimes.

01 Nov Roadblocks to prosecuting for non-listed cannabis analogues: They are all over the place, including chocolate.

Anti-drug people in government keep trying to play catch up with producers of marijuana analogues by outlawing not only specifically-listed chemicals, but also analogues, for instance by calling them cannabimimetic agents.

A defendant prosecuted for possessing or dealing in cannabimimetic agents has various defenses to consider asserting, including the following (always consult a qualified lawyer — this is not advice — and consider the multiple state and federal laws and regulations involved, and the ever-changing laws):

– Does the product contain a listed prohibited substance?

– Even if a listed prohibited substance is contained in the product, did the packaging or shipping material include notice of that, or did the product’s supplier provide a chemical analysis listing that did not include any prohibited items?

– Was the possessor on reasonable notice that any problematic substance was in the product? For instance, did the supplier provide a report from an independent chemist on the product’s contents (and is the chemist’s report accurate, and does it apply to all the supplier’s product, or do various batches of the product have differing ingredients?)

– Virginia, as a for instance, outlaws described cannabimimetic agents rather than all of them — Va. Code § 18.2-248.1, but even when limiting the cannabimimetic agent listing, the outlawed components are so vast in number as to render the prohibition unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, without enabling the defendant to have the necessary knowledge of the illegal nature of the substance, thus barring a conviction.

– To outlaw all cannabimimetic agents will be completely unconstitutional as entirely vague and overbroad, even covering such lawful substances as chocolate (thanks to a chemist who alerted me to the cannabinoid-chocolate connection).

By the way, the foregoing oft-referenced short 1996 Nature article on chocolate’s cannabinoid mimics/cannabimimetic agents discusses anandamide as a "brain lipid that binds to cannabinoid receptors." A review of several sources on the Internet seems to show the following fascinating definition of anandamide to be accurate: "Ananda in Sanskrit means bliss, The compound Anandamide is present in chocolates and cocoa powder. It is structurally the ethanolamide of arachidonic acid. Biochemist Daniele Piomelli and coworkers [who wrote the foregoing brief Nature article) isolated anandamide- from chocolate and cocoa powder."

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