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SB 173 categorizes would place into the same category as marijuana certain synthetic substitutes for marijuana under the controlled substances act.
Under current law illegal drugs are categorized into certain penalty groups carrying specific legal consequences for the manufacture, possession, sale, and use of those drugs. In order to get around the legal consequences of those drugs, some people have taken to manufacturing new synthetic drugs designed to mimic the effects of illegal drugs.
It can not be stated strongly enough that these new synthetic forms of marijuana are designed for the express purpose of flaunting existing law by manufacturing a substance that is in essentially the same as an already illegal drug and thereby getting around the law on a technicality because existing statute doesn't specifically name the new drugs in the code. This allows people to exploit a loophole and avoid the responsibility associated with the legal jeopardy of the illegal drugs they are replacing.
This legislation closes that loophole and treats the new synthetic forms of marijuana equally under the law as the forms of marijuana they replace, thus making the manufacturers, distributors, and users of both drugs subject to the same treatment under the law and therefore held to the same standards of legal responsibility.
So long as marijuana continues to be illegal its synthetic counterparts should be treated the same way. We support this legislation.