Bills banning synthetic marijuana sent to governor

LANSING – Synthetic marijuana products, commonly sold as K2 or Spice, would be banned in Michigan under legislation sent to the governor today by the state Senate, said Sen. John Proos.

“These substances are sold as harmless bath salts or incense, but are actually dangerous drugs that are harming Southwest Michigan, especially our young people,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The manufacturers of these drugs attempt to get around the law by continuously changing their compounds ever so slightly. This legislation will allow the state to keep up with these manufacturers, keep these toxic substances out of Michigan stores and punish those who continue to sell them.”

Senate Bill 789 and House Bills 5338 and 5714 would allow the Department of Community Health (DCH) and the Board of Pharmacy to immediately file emergency rules to ban dangerous designer drugs by listing them as controlled substances in order to protect the public from harm.

“The effects of synthetic marijuana have certainly been felt in Coloma Township and across Southwest Michigan,” said Chief Randel Pompey of the Coloma Township Police Department. “These reforms will be a great tool that law enforcement can use to protect our communities from this incredibly dangerous trend.”

SB 1082 would update Michigan’s law that lists prohibited chemical cocktails typically used by synthetic drug producers and further empower law enforcement to keep up with the ever-changing nature of the addictive drugs. A person who violates this new law would be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 4 years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both.

“I have heard from numerous parents and citizens in Southwest Michigan that these drugs are still being sold at local stores,” Proos said. “These drugs have been linked to several deaths and hospitalizations, yet many teenagers do not understand the risks of consuming these products.”

SBs 789 and 1082 and HBs 5338 and 5714 have been sent to the governor, who is expected to sign the bills into law.


Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos are available on the senator’s webpage at Click on “Podcasts.”