Companies File Suit Against Indiana’s Synthetic Drug Ban

Four aromatherapy companies are filing suit against Indiana's synthetic drug law, saying it is too broad.

synthetic drug

Photo: Raquel Baranow (flickr)

Synthetic drugs are often labeled as another substance.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday challenges a recently passed law that tightens restrictions on synthetic drugs.

When Indiana State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) sponsored a law designed to crack down on the distribution of synthetic drugs, he said it was to protect businesses and keep Hoosiers safe. But some state businesses say the law goes too far.

The law bans specific compounds but also allows law enforcement to prosecute businesses selling any substance that a reasonable person would consider a synthetic drug.

Thrasher, Buschmann and Voelkel attorney Mark Rutherford is representing four aromatherapy companies, Little Arm Inc. of Fort Wayne, Bohemian Groove LLC of Huntington, MELX2 Enterprises of Bloomington, and IDK Anything LLC of Carmel, in the lawsuit. He says the law is too vague and will not only be ineffective but will lead to other problems.

“How can I change my behavior, or use my behavior in such a way to not violate the law?” he says. “The way I read the statute I could make an argument that cigarettes are now illegal. It’s that dangerous of a statute.”

The lawsuit states three aromatherapy businesses have had their licenses revoked because of the new law.

The Indiana Attorney General’s office says that it is prepared to defend the statute when the case heads to trial.

In an interview before the suit was filed, Attorney General Greg Zoeller said the law is necessary to put a halt to a serious problem.

“We all know the dangers, and we need to protect the public from it, so if people are out there selling it- it’s against the law, you’re going to be charged with a crime, and you’re also going to be hit with your retailer’s license, and we’ll take away everything else.”

A trial date has not been set.

Synthetic Drugs Lawsuit by Indiana Public Media News

  • http://capnswing.tumblr.com/ Christopher Swing

    Zoeller conveniently ignores the point of the suit, that the “it” retailers are selling happens to be anything local cops or prosecutors care to decide MIGHT be abused whether it is being used to get high or not – it’s a license to manufacture arrests and convictions on a whim.

    And that’s beyond the stupidity of still not getting that PROHIBITION DOESN’T WORK. It didn’t work with alcohol, it hasn’t and isn’t working with drugs. And it’s not that the lawmakers, prosecutors, and cops don’t get that – they have their job security to protect, after all. We have a prison-industrial complex because these people don’t serve and protect us, they serve and protect themselves.

  • Pingback: 10 Indiana Laws You Should Know About That Take Effect Today | East Chicago City Court

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