Bill Cracking Down on Synthetic Drug Use, Sales Passes in Wis. Assembly

Created: 01/22/2014 12:23 PM

Legislation passed in the Wisconsin State Assembly aims to strengthen state laws prohibiting synthetic marijuana.

Senators Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, and Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, applauded the passage of the Senate bill, saying it's demonstrating that the Legislature in Wisconsin will not tolerate the sale of "this poison" to its citizens.

During the last session, the Legislature made it illegal to possess, manufacture, distribute, or deliver synthetic marijuana. However, distributors altered the synthetic formula making it more difficult for prosecutors to try the case.

In a news release, Bies said "manufacturers of these synthetic substances found a loophole in our current law and they're changing the make-up of these drugs quicker than we can ban them. Signing this bill into law will give DA's the tools they need to bring successful cases against these individuals."

The release said the bill provides a more comprehensive list of illegal substances based on what crime labs in the state and country are seeing. The bill makes chemical substances similar in composition to the listed substances illegal as well.

According to Jauch, "no matter how hard the manufactures have worked to find loopholes in the law, we will work just has hard to close those loopholes and give law enforcement the tools to stop the sale of this poison."

The lawmakers said that the bipartisan bill was carefully drafted over the last year, with Attorney General Van Hollen and Department of Justice staff closely consulted throughout the process.

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