Give Now

Companies File Suit Against Indiana’s Synthetic Drug Ban

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

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From