There are two crimes under state law that deal with fake drugs, and they are broken down into either distribution or possession. Distribution is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Yes, you read that correctly. A person selling baking soda or oregano can wind up being a convicted felon if their case is not handled properly. There are a variety of factors that the state can look at to determine whether enough evidence exists to charge a person of this felony. They include the physical appearance of the substance, the packaging, and whether the amount of money asked for was considerably higher than the actual value of the substance. It is not an adequate defense that the substance was sold for less than the drug it was posing as. For example if a person were accused of selling a gram of baking soda for $20 it does not matter that a gram of cocaine costs $40 to $70. All that matters is that a gram of baking soda costs much less than $20. It is also not a defense that the person believed that the substance was an actual drug. Possession and purchase of a fake drug is a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of 1 year in jail. Once again the state will look at the appearance of the substance and how it’s packaged to determine if charges are appropriate. This particular crime is common with juveniles, and many times arrests are made at the child’s school. Once again, the state will not simply drop the charges because no actual controlled substance was involved. These charges frequently end up in court and must be defended in the proper way to avoid a conviction and even jail time. The Herbst Firm is available 24 hours a day for a free consultation about your case.