Closing a loophole to ensure dangerous drugs are illegal

By Sen. Joe Hune
22nd Senate District

The Michigan Senate recently approved a measure designed to provide prosecutors and law enforcement officials with the tools necessary to address the growing issues surrounding synthetic drugs.

The proposed law would close a loophole and help ensure that synthetic drugs are illegal. I supported this important piece of legislation to help protect residents across the state from these dangerous substances.

Senate Bill 1082 would update Michigan’s law that lists prohibited chemical compounds typically used by synthetic drug manufacturers and further empower local law enforcement to keep up with the ever-changing nature of these dangerous, addictive drugs.

The measure was sponsored to target synthetic drugs that are similar to “K2” and “bath salts,” which were previously banned but have had their chemicals altered to escape the penalties.

While many particular synthetic drugs are already illegal under Michigan law, the manufacturers of these dangerous drugs simply change the chemical makeup of their compounds in order to skirt the state law. We need this proposed law on the books as soon as possible.

If signed into law, SB 1082 would update the list of schedule-1 controlled substances to include any synthetic chemical compound that mimics the effect of naturally occurring cannabinoids – which are found in cannabis, which is more commonly known as marijuana.

By classifying these synthetic drugs as schedule-1 substances, it means that anyone caught possessing them would face a felony charge punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

Additionally, anyone caught using one of these controlled substances could be found guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of $1,000.

Furthermore, individuals who manufacture, create, deliver or possess with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance would be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Individuals who knowingly attempt to sell a product while representing that it contains a prohibited chemical, or a chemical intended to mimic a banned chemical could be found guilty of a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of $20,000.

###

Sen. Joe Hune is chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He represents the 22nd state Senate District, which includes Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and the southern part of Ingham County. The Ingham County portion includes Bunkerhill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay townships, and the cities of Leslie and Mason.