Illegal drugs are typically classified in one of three ways: natural, derivative or synthetic. Marijuana is considered a natural drug since it is a plant, and drugs that are synthesized from a plant are derivatives, cocaine being one example. Synthetic drugs are those that are created by mixing synthetic chemical compounds.

Synthetic drug makers have frequently tried to do an end-run around the law by changing the compounds that they use to create drugs. Doing so creates a new chemical compound, but they are often able to emulate the results obtained from similar types of synthetic drugs that are already considered illegal.

Bath salts and spice are some of the most common examples of synthetic drugs that manufacturers are creating variations of. However, developing different formulas for these substances is only a short-term solution since laws are often passed quickly in order to outlaw new versions.

People may be charged with possession of a substance despite the fact that the substance in their possession is not illegal to have. In some cases, even if police are not sure if a substance is considered illegal, they may proceed with an arrest and charges on the assumption that the substance is unlawful to possess. Understanding someone’s rights is essential if a person is facing charges related to drug possession. A lawyer could explain how a case may proceed and assist in building a defense or working to arrange a plea bargain that could reduce the penalties for being convicted of the charges.