Hune: Senate approves measure to close loophole on synthetic drugs

LANSING Legislation designed to provide prosecutors and law enforcement officials with the tools necessary to address the growing issues surrounding synthetic drugs was approved Thursday by the Michigan Senate.

“The measure we passed today will close a loophole and help ensure that these synthetic drugs are illegal,” said Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg. “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,” Hune said. “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.

SB 1082 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.