Hatch lauds DEA decision to make synthetic marijuana illegal

WASHINGTON – Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, today lauded the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for its decision to outlaw the possession and sale of “Spice,” “K2” and other popular synthetic marijuana products for a year while it weighs the merits of a permanent ban.
 
“With impressionable teens and young adults in Utah and across the nation abusing marijuana substitutes to get high, the DEA’s decision to criminalize the possession and sale of these drugs and the chemicals they contain is the right prescription to help law enforcement professionals head off this fast-growing epidemic,” said Hatch, who asked DEA Acting Administrator Michelle Leonhart by letter earlier this month to make synthetic marijuana a controlled substance.
 
More than two dozen states and scores of counties have already passed legislation classifying Spice, which contains chemicals that mimic THC and has been linked to 24 deaths in the U.S., as a controlled substance. Several Utah cities – Provo, Layton and Ogden, just to name a few – have also banned marijuana alternatives.
 
Within 30 days, the DEA will make “fake pot” products illegal nationwide to allow time for the Department of Health and Human Services time to study whether or not the chemicals in the synthetic drugs should be regulated as a controlled substance permanently.

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