New Oklahoma Law Targets Production Of Synthetic Drugs

Friday, October 19th 2012, 6:26 pm
By: News On 6

Beginning in November, a new Oklahoma law will ban even more chemicals used to make synthetic drugs.

About 250 chemicals were banned last year, but the makers of these designer drugs just use different chemicals.

Synthetic drug use is a huge problem and some people say the new law doesn't go far enough.

Many people think using synthetic drugs is their chance to get high legally.

Synthetic drugs have been chemically altered to mimic street drugs.

The makers label them "not for human consumption," which allows them to be sold legally as potpourri, plant food, bath salts or incense and sold in some convenience stores, head shops and smoke shops.

"Many times you have to ask for it, they keep it under the counter so when kids come home with these packages, they bought it at the store, fine, most adults who are unknowing think, if they're selling it, it can't hurt them," Cindy Farmer said.

Farmer runs Cherokee County's juvenile drug court and sees synthetic drug users at least three times every day.

She said people think the products are safe since they're sold in stores, but says they are very dangerous.

"I've got kids who tried it the first time and had seizures," Farmer said. "We had a kid last weekend who fell off the top of a building, had been smoking spice, fell off the building and split his head open."

Last year's law banned two classes of synthetic drugs, the one that's similar to the active ingredient in marijuana and sold as K-2, Spice and Genie.

It also banned a class that mimics amphetamines, as Molly, Purple Wave and Vanilla Sky among other names.

The ban included about 250 chemicals used to make these drugs.

The 2012 law adds even more chemicals, but people like Cindy fear it's not enough.

"As soon as a new chemical is found, we ban it," Farmer said. "By the time we ban it, put it under controlled schedule, they've got three or four others out on the market."

Even though there is also a federal law that bans some of these chemicals, the use of them continues to grow.

Cindy believes banning all classes of these synthetic cannabis is the only way to stop manufacturers from shipping the products to Oklahoma.

She's working with a legislator to introduce such a bill next legislative session.