Bill Would Outlaw Synthetic Marijuana

Calling it a “growing threat … that needs to be tackled before anyone else is harmed,” state Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, announced Wednesday she had filed legislation to make the sale, manufacture and possession of fake marijuana, commonly referred to as K2, illegal.

The bill, SB 331, would outlaw six synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana.

“This herbal incense in name only is having detrimental effects on the people using it, a significant number of whom are young people,” she said in a statement.

Shapiro said the synthetic pot, which would be added to the Penalty Group 2 classification along with ecstasy, PCP and mescaline, is already outlawed in certain cities but the ban needs to be expanded statewide.

“Elected officials have a responsibility to address threats to public health and safety,” she said.

Included in her statement are comments from pediatric cardiologist Dr. Colin Kane, who said: “My main concern is that young people are using this because they believe it is a safe, legal, and undetectable version of marijuana — but it is not safe. I know of at least three teenagers who have suffered heart attacks after using K2.”

Shapiro said the substance is unregulated and currently available in smoke shops, online and even gas stations.

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