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Utah Adds Synthetic Drugs To Controlled Substances

Governor Gary Herbert signed House Bill (HB) 110 on March 21, resulting in new additions to list of controlled substances under the Utah Controlled Substances Act. HB 110 added the following to the list of controlled substances under Schedule I:

  • 3,4-dichloro-N-[2-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]-N-methylbenzamide (also known as U-47700, Pink, Pinky, or U4);
  • Acetyl fentanyl: (N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylacetamide);
  • Butyryl fentanyl: N-(1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-piperidinyl)-N-phenylbutyramide; and
  • Furanyl fentanyl: N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl]furan-2-carboxamide.

The bill also made the following substances, their analogs, homologs, and synthetic equivalents listed controlled substances:

  • ADB-CHMINACA: N-[(2S)-1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl]-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)indazole-3-carboxamide;
  • ADB-FUBINACA: (N-(1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-caboxamide); and
  • FUB-AMB; methyl (1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carbonyl)valinate.

While the names of many of these controlled substances are completely foreign to most average people, all of the drugs listed above are representative of a growing problem throughout Utah and across the nation: Opioids and synthetic drugs.

Acetyl fentanyl, butyryl fentanyl, and furanyl fentanyl are all opioid analgesic drugs that are analogs of fentanyl. Last September, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber warned that Utah “can expect a jump in overdose deaths similar to what is occurring in other parts of the country.” Robert Rolfs, deputy director of the Utah Department of Health, told the Tribune that Utah had the fourth-highest rate in the nation for drug poisoning deaths, “which are now more common than deaths caused by firearms, falls and motor vehicle crashes.”

U-47700 or Pink is a synthetic opioid pain medication similar to fentanyl in that even small doses can be fatal. ADB-CHMINACA, ADB-FUBINACA, and FUB-AMB are all synthetic cannabinoids with numerous reports of people being killed or adversely affected by using the drugs.

Synthetic Drugs Lawyer in Salt Lake City

CNN reported that China would ban the manufacture and sale of four variations of fentanyl beginning March 1, a move that United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) spokesman Russ Baer called “a potential game-changer.” Furanyl fentanyl as well as carfentanil, acrylfentanyl, and valeryl fentanyl were among the drugs that China would prohibit from being manufactured and sold.

Many people mistakenly assume that synthetic drugs are either legal or carry penalties that are far less severe than other more well-known illicit drugs. The truth is that even simple possession of a Schedule I controlled substance or controlled substance analog is a class A misdemeanor for the first or second offense. A third or subsequent conviction is a third-degree felony.

If an alleged offender is accused of possessing a Schedule I controlled substance or controlled substance analog with intent to distribute, that person can be charged with a second-degree felony for the first offenses and a first-degree felony for the second or any subsequent offense. Felony convictions can result in very lengthy prison sentences.

Utah’s move to add the drugs listed above to its list of controlled substances comes after the DEA made furanyl fentanyl (also known as White China) a Schedule I controlled substance. Lawmakers throughout the country are finding that as soon as they add one synthetic drug or chemical compound to the list of controlled substances, something new with only a minor chemical difference will pop up.

Were you recently arrested in Utah for allegedly possessing fentanyl or any other kind of synthetic drug? You should refuse to make any kind of statement to authorities until you have a Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney.

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About the Author

Darren Levitt is a trial attorney and founder and manager of the law firm Levitt Legal, PLLC. As an attorney, Darren works to protect, defend and uphold the freedom, liberty, property, and constitutional and unalienable rights of individuals.