White Lightning--Synthetic Forms Of Cocaine And LSD Are Not Prohibited By Current Tennessee Law

White Lightning--Synthetic Forms Of Cocaine And LSD Are Not Prohibited By Current Tennessee Law

The TN Attorney General was asked whether Tennessee Law prohibits the production, manufacture, distribution, or possession of synthetic forms of the drugs LSD and cocaine, including the product known as White Lightning?  No, in most situations, is the reply form the AG in a recent opinion.


In short, because these items do not contain controlled substances, they probably are not covered by current TN law.  However, the AG opinion points out, even if a product purporting to be synthetic LSD or synthetic cocaine were found not to contain a controlled substance, it may still qualify as a counterfeit controlled substance under Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-423.


Senator Roy Herron requested the opinion in response to the growing problem of White Lightning. White Lightning is one of a number of names under which methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is sold. MDVP is sold openly in gas stations and other retail stores, labeled as not for human consumption and purporting to be insect repellent or bath salts. MDPV is not currently a controlled substance under Tennessee law or federal law. 


The problem with enforcement seems to be a conflict in TN law with White Lightning's actual use and its purported use.  Because Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-423 specifically excludes from its purview any substance that may be legally purchased at a drug or grocery store without a prescription, so long as the substance is not represented to be a controlled substance.  
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