The following case summaries are provided by Stacey L. Schlimmer. For complete case opinions visit kansascourts.org. All cases are individual and in no way do these cases reflect every case.
JWH-018 vs. JWH-081
The defendant sold six bags of herbal potpourri containing a synthetic cannabinoid known as JWH-081. A jury convicted the defendant based on the state’s theory that JWH-081 is an analog of JWH-018, a schedule I hallucinogenic drug. To prove that JWH-081 is an analog to JWH-018 the state’s burden was to prove that (1) the chemical structure of JWH-081 is substantially similar to the chemical structure of JWH-018 and (2) JWH-081 has a hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system substantially similar to the hallucinogenic effect of JWH-018. The defendant challenged the language requiring the drugs be “substantially similar” as being unconstitutionally vague. The Court of Appeals, however, held the language in the statute was not unconstitutionally vague. The defendant claimed the district court erred in excluding a letter written by the Saline County Attorney to the State Board of Pharmacy. The defense argued the letter was relevant to prove that the state was considering dismissing the charges if JWH-081 was not name a controlled substance by the state Board of Pharmacy. The Court of Appeals held that the evidence was not relevant, and, therefore the district court did not err.