Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation to ensure K2, Spice and other dangerous synthetic drugs no longer find their way to Michigan store shelves.
The synthetic drugs now will be included in the list of Schedule 1 drugs, and producers and distributors will be subject to the same penalties as those of other drugs in the classification. The governor called for this move to protect teens and young adults in his special message on public safety.
"K2, Spice and similar products are not safe for human consumption, and I applaud the Legislature's efforts to remove these dangerous compounds from our communities and protect our youth," Snyder said.
K2, Spice and similar products are made of plant matter sprayed with chemicals designed to mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the high-inducing compound found in marijuana. However, the chemicals are unregulated and often produce negative side effects like elevated heart rate, seizures, vomiting and paranoia.
This legislation closes legal loopholes that allowed manufacturers to continue to sell their product after a small tweak in the chemical makeup of the drug. The bills also create a method for the Department of Community Health and Michigan Board of Pharmacy to temporarily designate a drug as a controlled substance, ensuring a rapid response if other dangerous drugs appear.
The legislative package includes:
- House Bill 5338, sponsored by state Rep. Ed McBroom;
- H.B. 5714, sponsored by state Rep. Pat Somerville;
- Senate Bill 789, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones; and
- S.B. 1082, sponsored by state Sen. Dave Hildenbrand.
The bills now are Public Acts 180-183 of 2012.