New variations of “synthetic marijuana” which have proven harmful to teenagers would be banned under legislation pending in the Iowa House. Representative Joel Fry, a Republican from Osceola, says new varieties of these synthetic drugs keep appearing in stores.
“We now have manufacturers who are finding new ways to alter the chemicals and to create new forms of K2 and market and brand them,” Fry says. “I think this is very well-defined by the situation here in Des Moines that took place last week at East High.”
Three students were hospitalized. Other students say the teens had used an over-the-counter product they call synthetic marijuana. Experts say the products can cause hallucinations and violent behavior.
An Indianola teenager committed suicide in 2010 after using K2 and the Iowa legislature passed a law banning the sale or possession of products like K2, Spice, “bath salts” and Salvia. This year, Fry and others want the ban to cover even more synthetic “designer” drugs.
“I would ask that you would, for the sake of helping to protect Iowa teenagers, that we could add these compounds to the list,” Fry says. “It, in the end, will hopefully protect more of our teens in an effort to try to stay ahead of where these individuals and manufacturers are taking K2.”
The penalty for manufacturing, selling or possessing the newest incarnations of these synthetic drugs would be an aggravated misdemeanor if the bill becomes law. The House Public Safety Committee endorsed the bill earlier today.