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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
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Broward County gains a foothold in fight against flakka

Broward County is a popular vacation spot for visitors. Nevertheless, its recent media attention is one that local residents would like to see disappear. Broward County is the nation’s leading location for drug cases involving the synthetic drug, flakka. However, a recent cooperative effort between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Chinese government, where the primary ingredient for the drug is said to derive from, may put a kink in the drug’s production and distribution.

Flakka, also known as – $5 insanity, powdered psychosis, total mind melt and gravel – is a synthetic drug derived from bath salts, is made from the key ingredient alpha-PVP. To date, China has been the primary exporter of alpha-PVP. However, on October 1, China, in an effort to crack down on its export, along with 115 other chemical substances that have no known legitimate use, made the substances illegal. Such a restriction has never been done before and demonstrates China’s sincerity over not wanting to be viewed in the same way as other countries who are notorious for their drug export connections.

Last year Broward County crime labs analyzed over 475 cases of the confiscated drug, flakka; more than any other urban county in the United States. The use of the drug has been connected to numerous arrests, emergency room visits and even deaths. While it is recognized by Broward County law enforcement officers that China’s most recent effort to combat the drug war is not a cure-all, it will hopefully put a damper on its availability.

As the DEA and local law enforcement agencies work toward cleaning up our streets, arrests will be made, some of them erroneously. Guilt of a crime is something that needs to be proven, it doesn’t just occur when an arrest is made. As a result, it is important for anyone accused of a crime to consult with an attorney who understands Florida’s drug laws, right away.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “South Florida gets a boost in battle against flakka,” Tonya Alanez, Nov. 25, 2015

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