Other than its name, synthetic marijuana has no real relation to cannabis by any means, and its use is known to have unpredictable and sometimes deadly side-effects.
Also known as Spice or K2, the product is made by spraying artificial cannabinoids on plant matter which is then smoked. But the formula used to make synthetic marijuana is continuously changing; when a synthetic cannabinoid is banned, manufacturers find a new one to take its place.
Illinois lawmakers are now looking to put a stop to the regulatory game of cat and mouse being played in the state by banning all synthetic marijuana formulations. This week, the Senate voted 55 to 0 to pass SB2341, a bill designed to fix the fake cannabis problem once and for all.
“After the careful consideration taken to weigh the implications of new restrictions on drugs, I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate for swiftly passing this legislation, and I urge the House to do the same,” Senator Jacqueline Collins [D] told KFVS 12. “Many synthetic cannabinoids are already illegal, but by broadening the criteria, we ensure that they can’t be made legal by small and potentially deadly changes to their chemical formulae.”
Under the bill, all formulations of synthetic cannabis would be treated as controlled substances. Manufacturers would be subject to a Class 3 felony charged, and simple possession would net a Class 4 felony.
SB2341 is now under consideration in the House.