Wednesday, June 29, 2011

St. Rep. Ruhl Announces Passage of K2/Spice, Bath Salts Bill

COLUMBUS – State Representative Margaret Ann Ruhl (R-Mount Vernon) announced that yesterday House Bill 64 was favorably passed by both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. The act, jointly sponsored by Representative Ruhl and Representative Dave Burke, bans the possession, use and sale of synthetic drugs commonly known as K2 or Spice.
“I started working on this bill last May, in the previous General Assembly.  I’ve worked diligently with my colleagues, leadership, law enforcement and members of the local community to seek passage of this important legislation,” Ruhl said.  “I appreciate the work of all those who helped with the passage of this bill. To see it finally passed by both chambers with so much support gives me great satisfaction.”
Under House Bill 64 penalties for the possession or trafficking of K2 or Spice will be the same as currently enforced for marijuana - a minor misdemeanor for possession and a fifth degree felony if convicted of trafficking in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. 
HB 64 passed the House in March with a vote of 97-1. The Senate amended the bill to add six synthetic derivatives of cathinone that have been found in bath salts to the list of schedule I controlled hallucinogenic substances in addition to an amendment that defines ‘controlled substance analog’ for the purposes of controlled substances law and provides that controlled substance analogs must be treated as schedule I controlled substances. The Senate unanimously passed the measure yesterday, with the House concurring with the Senate amendments last evening 97-1.
The act now moves to the governor for signature.