Getting Tough on the Synthetic Drug "Spice"
Posted by Councilmember Englander on August 26, 2016 at 5:40 PM
Today, my colleague Councilmember Jose Huizar and I submitted an emergency motion to the Los Angeles City Council banning the use, manufacturing and distribution of synthetic cannabinoids, commonly referred to as “spice.”
The use of synthetic cannabinoids, a type of manufactured drug that is sprayed onto plant material and smoked like a cigarette or marijuana, has significantly increased in the City of Los Angeles over recent months.
This drug is far less expensive and far more dangerous than natural marijuana and can often cause serious side effects, such as loss of consciousness, paranoia, tachycardia and psychotic episodes.
Over recent months, there have been mass overdoses related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids among the homeless population on Skid Row, with two mass overdoses in the area last week resulting in over fifty people being transported to the hospital.
Additionally, the motion asks the City Council to support California State Senate Bill 1036 (Hernandez) which expands the definition of controlled substance analog to include slight variations in synthetic marijuana, provided that the chemical makeup and intoxicating effects are similar to the already-banned formulation. The City's support for this legislation, with the concurrence of the Mayor, should be immediately expressed to the Governor.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District
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