Illinois’ recently enacted ban on synthetic drugs might be adopted by other states thanks in part to the endorsement of the policy by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an association of state lawmakers from across the nation. The Illinois law, which took effect this year, was introduced and passed with bipartisan support in 2015.
Synthetic or designer street drugs are commonly known by names such as K-2, Spice, Yucatan Fire, Scooby Doo and others. They pose serious risks. They are more readily available at much lower prices than the typical street drugs they mimic such as marijuana, cocaine and meth, but with higher potency and significantly more dangerous to the user. They are often purchased at convenience stores as an over-the-counter product. And while the labels often carry a disclaimer “Not for Human Consumption,” such statements will no longer qualify as a legal “way out” for the makers. Getting rid of the label’s liability loophole is a key component of the new Illinois law and ALEC’s model policy based on the law.
ALEC formally adopted the legislation as a model policy for all states on Sept. 12.