1:10 pm CST - January 12, 2011
Posted under On The Record
Bill will penalize the manufacture, sale, and possession of this legal, but dangerous synthetic drug
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – This morning, State Senator Florence Shapiro (R-District 8), filed Senate Bill 331, comprehensive legislation to ban K2, an herbal incense laced with synthetic substances similar to THC–the main psychoactive substance found in marijuana. K2 and similar products are unregulated and being sold legally across Texas in gas stations, smoke shops, and online.
There is mounting anecdotal evidence that K2 can cause significant harm to its users. In fact, experts claim the health effects of this substance are more harmful than those of marijuana. The bill filed is the most comprehensive K2 legislation in the nation. SB 331 will ban statewide the manufacture, sale, and possession of K2. It aims to make illegal six subclasses of synthetic cannabinoids that street chemists are using to create very dangerous drugs. The bill is an expansion of synthetic cannabinoids currently in Penalty Group 2.
Senator Shapiro says, “This herbal incense in name only is having detrimental effects on the people using it–a significant number of whom are young people.”
While many Texas cities have already voted to ban K2, from the Senator’s perspective, a statewide ban remains necessary.
Shapiro adds, “Elected officials have a responsibility to address threats to public health and safety–K2 is a growing threat to both that needs to be tackled before anyone else is harmed.”
Dr. Colin Kane, a pediatric cardiologist from the Dallas area, says of K2, “My main concern is that young people are using this because they believe it is a safe, legal, and undetectable version of marijuana–but it is not safe. I know of at least three teenagers who have suffered heart attacks after using K2.”
Chief John R. Chancellor, Legislative Committee Chair for the Texas Police Chiefs Association remarks, “We’ve heard from police chiefs across the state about the ills of K2. We wanted to back a complete bill, one we believed would give us the tools to remove K2 from Texas’ streets. Senator Shapiro’s bill accomplishes that.”