District of Columbia Proposes Law to Ban Synthetic Drugs

Legislators in Washington, D.C., are proposing a ban on synthetic drugs, The Washington Times reports. More than 40 states have banned synthetic marijuana and/or bath salts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“They are completely invented and manufactured without any regulation, without any quality control, with nothing,” said D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. He chairs the Committee on the Judiciary, which forwarded a bill this week to restrict synthetic drugs in the District. “At least with a natural ingredient, you know what it is. Whereas with synthetics you have not a clue what it is and it’s sold [as] incense – and the person can kill themselves.”

State lawmakers have struggled with the best way to handle synthetic drugs, the article notes. They do not fit into traditional drug classifications, and contain a mix of chemical compounds that can be changed.

In July, President Obama signed legislation that bans synthetic drugs. The law bans harmful chemicals in synthetic drugs such as those used to make synthetic marijuana and bath salts.

Earlier this week, New Jersey made its temporary ban on synthetic marijuana permanent. The state’s Division of Consumer Affairs banned the drug in February, for 270 days pending public input. The state has already permanently banned bath salts, another popular synthetic drug.

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