Senate approves Nofs bill to regulate “synthetic marijuana” and so-called “designer drugs”

The Michigan Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed legislation introduced in June by state Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, to classify “synthetic cannabinoids” and other designer drugs as Schedule 1 controlled substances.

“Synthetic forms of marijuana like K2, Genie and Spice, as well as other designer drugs that our youth are using to get high, are dangerous and can have serious side effects that could be potentially life threatening,” said Nofs. “I have spent decades in law enforcement and have seen the devastating consequences that can come from substance abuse. These are substances with no positive outcomes for our kids, our families, or our state.”

The new, powerful substances are currently unregulated and found in many "herbal incense" products sold at stores throughout Michigan. They can produce effects similar to those of marijuana, hashish or ecstasy, but have also been linked to much more serious side effects such as increased blood pressure, racing heartbeat and tremors, as well as an intense and extended period of withdrawal following use.

Though they currently remain unregulated, synthetic cannabinoids were originally developed for experimental use in animals and cell cultures and never intended for human consumption.

Senate Bill 1373 now moves to the state House for consideration.