This legislative session was the third consecutive year lawmakers took up the issue of synthetic drugs. Previous legislation outlawed components of synthetic drugs.
Manufacturers quickly responded by simply changing their formulas to skirt the law. This new law, does not try to address the chemicals instead it defines synthetic drugs based on what a reasonable person would believe the substance was produced for.
State Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) who proposed the legislation says it will give prosecutors some power.
This broadness of this law will give them the ability to first of all take them off the shelves, but it’s also a message to the producers. We want these skunks off the counters,” Merritt says.
If prosecutors get a conviction under the new law, it will be up to the attorney general’s office to defend an appeal. Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he’s prepared to prove to the courts that this new system is fair.
“Did they know that this was a violation? Did they intend to sell a dangerous product?” Zoeller says. “I’m willing to defend it because I think most people recognize the dangers of these bath salts and the K2 and Spice. So we all now know the dangers and we need to protect from it.”
Store owners caught selling anything that could be a synthetic drug will be charged and they could lose their retail license.