Crackdown on deadly synthetic drugs passes Senate

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ILLINOIS (WAND) – Lawmakers are planning to tighten laws involving synthetic cannabinoids in order to prevent deaths.

The Illinois Senate has officially approved Senate Bill 2341, which would classify all synthetic cannabinoids under the Controlled Substances Act and make all synthetics eligible for emergency controlled substance scheduling. Those drugs, often known as “fake weed”, “spice” or “K2”, are linked to four Illinois deaths, including three in central Illinois, and severe bleeding cases.

>>Related: Fourth Illinoisan dies from synthetic cannabinoid use

Lawmakers say people who make synthetic drugs are constantly tweaking their formulas to skirt around the law and keep them legal.

“We can’t afford to be stuck in a cycle of reacting to these irresponsible and deadly chemistry experiments,” said Sen. Jacqueline Collins, who is behind the bill. “We must act now to stop future deaths.”

She says the bill needs to become law.

“I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate for swiftly passing this legislation, and I urge the House to do the same. 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,” she said.

Collins’ office says the bill passed without opposition in the Senate. Its timetable for House consideration is unknown at this time.

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