Indiana legislators want to expand the number of substances on a list banning synthetic drugs. A bill passed last session named nearly 30 items as illegal cannabinoids.
Garrett Republican Representative David Yarde coauthored this year’s so-called “spice” bill. He says it is an effort to keep up with a rapidly evolving drug problem.
“So it expands the list of illegal entities that can be added to the core chemicals necessary to produce the spice,” he says.
But there is concern that some merchants may not realize these substances are on their shelves. They are often sold as “bath salts” or even plant food. Indianapolis Democratic Representative Ed DeLaney says more work needs to be done on the bill before it can be effective.
“We’ve got to get the message out education-wise and we’ve got to get the message out to the bad guys that just because something seems to be legal temporarily because the law hasn’t caught up to you, you shouldn’t be ruining people’s lives.”
Both Yarde and DeLaney say establishing fair penalties for selling these substances is key. That might involve civil penalties, fines or revoking merchants’ licenses.