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Last updated on Sunday, July 21, 2013
(UNDATED) - Indiana’s lookalike drug law, which is designed to target synthetic marijuana, is being challenged in court.
But the man who wrote it will tell other states they should adopt similar laws if they want to stamp out Spice.
State Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) will speak to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America conference in Austin, Texas Monday morning. He will talk about Indiana's history with synthetic drug laws at the organization's conference as well as the General Assembly's latest efforts to strengthen Indiana's ban by making it illegal to possess or sell look-alike synthetic drugs, as prior state law only prohibited substances identified as synthetic drugs based on their chemical makeup.
"Indiana has been a national leader in fighting this dangerous new drug trend that quickly rose in popularity among youths and absolutely devastates families," Merritt said. "We have been chasing these compounds - among them Spice and Bath Salts - for a few years now, and manufacturers kept churning out new, not-yet-illegal substances to inflict on our young people. I think this year's ban on known synthetic drugs and their 'look-alikes' will prove to be a model for other states and hopefully eradicate these poisons."
Merritt will also talk about recent reports from the Indiana Poison Center that show the state's synthetic drug ban is working to reduce overdoses. He will be joined for his presentation by Randy Miller, executive director of Drug Free Marion County.
An attorney representing businesses that sell incense, aromatherapy and similar products filed a lawsuit against the state and every county prosecutor in Indiana challenging the lookalike law.
Mark Rutherford has said the new law is so vague, it makes it impossible for police to tell what is legal and what is illegal.
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