Hildenbrand measure should serve as warning to synthetic drug manufacturers

Lansing— The Michigan Senate on Thursday, approved Legislation that would provide prosecutors and law enforcement officials with the tools necessary to address the growing issues surrounding synthetic drugs.

Senate Bill 1082, sponsored by State Senator Dave Hildenbrand, would update Michigan’s law that lists prohibited chemical cocktails typically used by synthetic drug manufacturers and further empower local law enforcement to keep up with the ever-changing nature of these dangerous, addictive drugs.

“This is a growing epidemic that needs immediate attention,” said Hildenbrand, R-Lowell.  “These drugs, which are sold under many different names and marked not for human consumption, are used as alternatives to marijuana and other drugs. These synthetic drugs are just as dangerous, if not more toxic, than the ones they attempt to mimic.”

Current state law makes it a 90-day misdemeanor to possess or use certain synthetic drugs. This law was enacted after problems were first reported with products such as “K-2” and “Spice,” which contained dried herbs sprayed with a chemical that created a high similar to marijuana. However, because synthetic drug manufacturers want to continue to sell their dangerous products, they simply change the chemical makeup of their compounds in order to skirt the state law.

“These drugs are being legally produced and sold across Michigan,” Hildenbrand said. “Many of the users are teenagers who do not fully recognize the risks involved with synthetic drugs. Producers of synthetic drugs are no different than illegal drug dealers and a clear message has been sent that their behavior will not be tolerated. I have worked with local prosecutors, judges and law enforcement and our goal is the same: we must get these dangerous drugs off our streets and we must do so quickly.”