The bill added 60 chemical compounds found in synthetic drugs like “spice” and “bath salts” to Indiana’s list of illegal substances. Manufacturers used the compounds in synthetic drugs, where are designed to mimic the effects of marijuana and cocaine.
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“After receiving a phone call from a constituent asking why we don’t make it illegal for synthetic drugs to be sold, I met with local police and prosecutors,” said State Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus), one of the authors of the bill. “After meeting with them, I knew the General Assembly needed to address this issue and ensure that these dangerous substances remained off shelves and not available for purchase. It was very important to pass this bill considering the urgency of the problem.”
Additionally, the bill will hold retailers responsible if the product is sold.
“Many retailers understand the dangers of these drugs and refuse to sell the products,” said State Sens. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette), chair of the Senate Committee on Public Policy. “Others place profits over the well-being of young, vulnerable kids. Now those who refuse to play by the rules will suffer the consequences. Our state will be a safer place and fewer children will be sent to emergency rooms when these harmful drugs are removed from store shelves.”
Retailers that are caught selling the synthetic drugs will be stripped of their retail merchant certificate of business, shutting the business down for one year.
To prevent manufacturers from slightly changing ingredients in the synthetic drugs, the new law will ban manufacturers from creating new compounds derived from existing illegal drugs.