Virginia Legislature Passes Fake Marijuana Bills

By a vote of 98-0, the Virginia House Monday passed its version of a bill, HB 1434, that would outlaw synthetic cannabinoid products. Three days earlier, the state Senate passed its version of the bill, SB 745, on a 37-0 vote.

Busy with bans in Richmond (image via Wikimedia)
The House bill adds synthetic cannabinoids to the state's list of controlled substances, but the Senate bill does not. The House bill also has stiffer penalties for violators. That means the two bills will have to be reconciled for the ban to move to the governor's desk.

Products containing synthetic cannabinoids are sold in convenience stores, corner gas stations, and head shops in states where they have not been outlawed, and are also available on the Internet. They are typically marketed as incense and are sold under a variety of names, including Spice and K2.

The products are billed as a legal marijuana substitute, but hospital emergency rooms and poison control centers have reported numerous calls from people agitated or paranoid after using them. Still, the symptoms do not appear to be life-threatening, and no overdose deaths have been reported.

The DEA moved in November to take emergency action to institute an emergency federal ban on synthetic cannabinoids, but so far, that action has been blocked by legal action from retailers' associations.

Thirteen states have already banned synthetic cannabinoids. Similar actions are pending in a number of other state legislatures this year.

Richmond, VA
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Thoughts anyone?

If fake pot is so overwhelmingly opposed, then how is headway ever to be made on the real thing? One more banned substance added to the drug war. No end in sight.

... passes fake marijuana bills

I don't know.  Unfortunately, the bills look real enough to me.

Hey because it has the word

Hey because it has the word marijuana on it "it has to be prohibited"! The article says "Thirteen states have already banned synthetic cannabinoids. Similar actions are pending in a number of other state legislatures this year."  Tell me why the Feds have to get their say into it too, seems to me the states are handling it. "The DEA moved in November to take emergency action to institute an emergency federal ban on synthetic cannabinoids, but so far, that action has been blocked by legal action from retailers' associations." Guess they (DEA) need to justify their existence and spending!

Uh..

So Retailers' Associations can stop a Federal Emergency Act by the U.S. Government by simply taking legal action, yet no Retailers' Associations can take legal action against a State to delay or stop THAT bill?

I guess its because one is a bill, and one isnt. Yet you'd think the Federal Government would have more power over what action can be taken legally via the Judicial system than any one of the 50 State Governments do. Apparently this is not the case, and State Governments can institute reforms that would get delayed if the Federal Government attempted the same action.

I live in Virginia, and all the local stores that carried the reformulated lab certified not to contain the 5 synthetic cannabinoids listed in the Federal Emergency Action have removed all herbal incense or potpourri products, despite the fact that the same Federal Action is in limbo right now due to Retailers' taking legal action. These are the ones that are stamped "USA Lab Certified Legal" and the stores which carry them have a copy of the official lab report showing none of the 5 chemicals, yet even all these were taken off the shelves today, 3-25-11. The Governer signed the bill yesterday, 3-24-11. It was on the shelves yesterday, now its gone.

propagnda

The reason alot of this stuff was removed from the shelves by retailers, even though the new products are compliant with the bill, is because in alot of places police went to the stores to conduct "compliance searches" to see if the old product was being stocked.  The propaganda going around is the message that all herbal incense has been outlawed.  The truth of the matter is specific chemicals have been outlawd not herbal incense itself.  There is a bill which will likely pass in 2012 outlawing the new chems used in these products.  The fact of the matter is there are replacements for everytime they outlaw a compound.  These bill do not stop the sale of herbal incense products however the propaganda that is put out to put vendors in fear that all products are illegal does work.  I am an owner of an herbal incense company and I know for a fact this is pointless legislation because they already have replacements for pending and future unwritten bills.  The fact is synthetic cannabinoids are endless in combination.  People should also research about how the DEA went around the country and confiscated herbal incense in mass quantities that was compliant with the federal bans.  If such research is done people will also find that the courts forced them to return these legal compliant products.

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