Ban On “Spice,” Similar Chemicals Passes Indiana Senate

The Indiana Senate has passed a bill which would curtail sales of currently legal hallucinogens like a synthetic marijuana called “K2” or “Spice.”

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Photo: Ben Skirvin

The Indiana House will now consider a bill banning the sale of a popular -- and currently legal -- hallucinogen.

The Indiana Senate has passed a bill which would curtail sales of currently legal hallucinogens like a synthetic marijuana called “K2” or “Spice.”

State Senator Ron Alting’s (R-Lafayette) bill, which received unanimous approval Thursday, would do for the state what 22 counties and five municipalities have already done – ban the possession and sale of synthetic cannabinoids.  Alting said the penalty for possessing or selling the drugs – which often go by the street names K2 or Spice – would be the same D felony as most marijuana charges.

“It’s not only ten times stronger than marijuana, but because of the hallucination factors in it, it quite frankly makes you do some ironic things.  We’ve had reports from emergency room directors of people jumping out of windows,” Alting said.

But Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) likened the fight against drugs like spice to the fight against other illegal substances, saying they have to be stopped at the source.

“What we need to do instead of focusing on what we have here, which is a list of 19 synthetic – which means somebody made it out of something else – compounds is try to figure out who these chemists are and put them in prison,” he said.

Taylor also voiced concern that the bill does not outline how much of the chemical a person must possess before they’re in violation of the law, noting that some of the same compounds exist in incense.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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