Northern Wis. Lawmakers Want Tougher Synthetic Drug Laws
Posted at: 09/23/2013 4:14 PM
| Updated at: 09/23/2013 10:37 PM
Northern Wisconsin lawmakers met with Superior community leaders Monday to discuss legislation that would ban synthetic marijuana statewide.
State Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) and Representative Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) say they've been working with Attorney General Van Hollen and Republican lawmakers for nine months to toughen Wisconsin synthetic marijuana statutes.
Sen. Jauch said the new legislation is expected to be introduced on Thursday. He said the legislation will provide law enforcement and prosecutors with the tools to adequately prosecute the sales of the product.
"If it looks like, walks like and quacks like, it is a duck," said Sen. Jauch. "They're going to have the ability to go forward and say this drug, even though altered, is dangerous and harmful to our community."
The lawmakers say legislation passed two years ago has left loopholes where distributors alter their synthetic formula and prosecutors have trouble prosecuting their cases. The new legislation will offer a more comprehensive list of controlled substances and broaden the definition of prohibited chemical items, says Sen. Jauch.
Rep. Bewley said her assembly district acts as ground zero for the problem. She said a store there, J.C. Moon, sells synthetics.
"The product that we hope to ban with this legislation is today being sold," said Rep. Bewley. "It is being sold as we speak and we know the people of northern Wisconsin do not want this, [we know] that they care deeply about their friends and neighbors."
The lawmakers also went to Ashland to discuss the legislation.