Wyss: Legislation banning ‘Spice’ advances to governor

Wyss e-mail header.

An e-mail from Indiana Senator Tom Wyss:

Wyss: Legislation banning ‘Spice’ advances to governor

A statewide ban on products like “Spice” and the herb salvia divinorum – a proposal co-authored by State Sen. Tom Wyss (R-Fort Wayne) – is one step away from becoming law.

Wyss said members of the House of Representatives voted 93-0 Tuesday in support of the amended legislation, sending the measure to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who will consider signing the bill into law.

Wyss said this legislation adds various chemical compounds used in synthetic cannabinoids like ‘Spice’ to the state’s controlled substances list. An amendment to the bill places the herb salvia divinorum – a powerful, hallucinogenic plant – on the list as well. If enacted into the law, the same penalties for producing, delivering, dealing or possessing marijuana will be established for synthetic cannabinoids and salvia.

“These products contain ingredients that have not been scientifically or medically tested on humans and therefore the long-term implications are unknown,” Wyss said. “This legislation is necessary to help ensure these harmful substances are taken off Indiana shelves and out of the hands of Hoosier youths.”

“Spice” and other products like “K2,” “Voodoo Magic” and “Mr. Smiley” are blends of herbs and man-made chemicals. When smoked and inhaled, they mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, intoxication from THC can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and trouble with learning and memory functions.

Salvia divinorum and products made from the herb, like “Magic Mint,” “Sally D.” and “Diviner’s Sage,” provide quick highs comparable to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

Officials from the U.S. Department Enforcement Agency list several chemical compounds in synthetic cannabinoids and salvia as “drugs and chemicals of concern” and have been considering whether to make them controlled substances for more than five years.

Current state law bans analog drugs that are designed to have similar effects as illegal drugs, but a loophole exempts drugs labeled “not for human consumption” – often used on brands like “Spice” and salvia products that are sold as herbal incense.

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