Synthetic drug ban becomes law

Illinois now has one of the strictest laws on the books to combat newly-styled street drugs. This legislation was proposed in response to a rise in the use of drugs such as synthetic marijuana and bath salts in Illinois and across the country.

 Senate Bill 1129 was recently signed into law by Gov. Rauner, outlawing the basic chemical structure of synthetic drugs. In recent years, illicit drug makers, some who have operated out of homes, simply altered a banned formula and sold a revised version of the drugs. The new law seeks to halt this practice, basing the ban on the drugs’ underlying chemical composition.

 Synthetic drugs mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine and meth, but with significantly higher potency and significantly more danger to the user. Severe reactions to the drugs include suicidal thoughts, confusion, violent behavior, hallucinations and chest pains.

 Synthetic drugs are known by a wide range of names, including K-2, Spice, Yucatan Fire, Double X and Scooby Doo. They are often purchased at convenience stores as an over-the-counter product. And, while the drugs’ labels often carry a disclaimer “Not for human consumption,” such statements will no longer qualify as a legal “way out” for the manufacturers.

 Previous legislative efforts to ban synthetic drugs proved to have limited effect because those laws targeted specific formulas of the designer drugs.

Chapin Rose

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