Sponsoring State Legislation to Ban the Synthetic Drug "Spice"
Posted by Councilmember Englander on September 02, 2016 at 11:35 AM
This week, I co-authored a motion with my colleague Councilmember Jose Huizar asking the City of Los Angeles to support California State Senate Bill 1036 (Hernandez) which would make it a crime to possess, sell, transport or manufacture of a synthetic cannabinoid compound.
The use of synthetic cannabinoid, often referred to as “spice” or “K2” is a significant and growing problem in California. Synthetic cannabinoid is often far cheaper than naturally occurring marijuana, and often significantly more potent. The use of this drug can result in serious medical emergencies, with individuals who overdose on these drugs experiencing cardiac problems, losing consciousness, becoming paranoid or suffering from psychotic episodes.
There have been serious overdose incidences across the state, including two large incidences on Skid Row in the last month.
In 2011, the state passed SB 420 (Hernandez) legislation to ban the sale, manufacture, possession and distribution of five specific formulations of synthetic cannabinoid. Manufacturers of synthetic cannabinoid reacted to this new law by tweaking the formulations of their product to get around the ban.
SB 1036 (Hernandez) would address this issue by expanding the definition of a controlled substance analog to synthetic cannabinoid. SB 1036 would effectively shut down the loophole in current law that enables drug manufacturers to adjust their chemical compounds to skirt California law.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District