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Forensic Chemistry Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q:  What are synthetic drugs?

Q:  Does OSBI have restrictions about what will be accepted as evidence?

Q:  I am a student and am interested in conducting research in the area of controlled dangerous substances.  

      Are there research opportunities within the OSBI in which I can participate?

Q:  Does the OSBI Forensic Chemistry Unit determine the purity of the specific drugs?

Q:  What experience is required for becoming a Criminalist in the CDS Unit?

Q:  Is it possible for the OSBI to distinguish synthetic THC from natural occurring THC?

 

 

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Q:  What are synthetic drugs?

A:  The term “synthetic drugs” may refer to designer drugs or “bath salts” designed to mimic the effects of stimulant drugs.  It may also 

      refer to synthetic marihuana, sometimes termed “K2” or “Spice” and is made to mimic the effects of THC.  

 

Q:  Does OSBI have restrictions about what will be accepted as evidence?

A:  Evidence must not include syringes, which under normal circumstances will not be accepted for analysis.  Exceptions to this will be 

      evaluated on a case by case basis.  Exceptions must follow OSBI’s Guidelines for Acceptance and must be approved by a 

      Criminalist Supervisor, Criminalistics Administrator, or designee.  Only drug items are accepted.  Items such as paperwork, keys, 

      IDs, and rolling papers will not be accepted for the purpose of keeping evidence together.

 

Q:  I am a student and am interested in conducting research in the area of controlled dangerous substances.  

     Are there research opportunities within the OSBI in which I can participate? 

A:  For more information on the program, please go to the main laboratory FAQ's.

 

Q:  Does the OSBI Forensic Chemistry Unit determine the purity of the specific drugs?

A:  The OSBI Forensic Chemistry Unit does not determine the purity of any substance we identify.

 

Q:  What experience is required for becoming a Criminalist in the CDS Unit?

A: Requirements include a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university in Chemistry, Biology, Forensic 

    Science or a closely related natural science. Candidates must have successfully completed General Chemistry I, General 

    Chemistry II, Organic Chemistry I, and Organic Chemistry II.  

    Level II is an additional one year of full time *qualifying experience as a forensic laboratory criminalist.

    Level III is an additional two years of full time *qualifying experience as a forensic laboratory criminalist.

  *The following will be considered qualifying experience for Forensic Chemistry:

    -All full-time experience in forensic controlled substance analysis.

    -All full-time experience in forensic trace analysis.

    -Full-time experience in Forensic Toxicology may be substituted for up to two years of the required experience.

 

Q:  Is it possible for the OSBI to distinguish synthetic THC from natural occurring THC?

A:  We do not have any techniques or methods for distinguishing sources of THC.