Virginia lawmakers concede that it may be impossible to create and amend laws that crack down on the ever-changing illegal drug trade, but they're determined to be as proactive as possible to deter it and prosecute those behind it.
The latest effort is the signing of legislation by Governor McDonnell that expands the list of chemicals that are being used to make synthetic marijuana—and that criminalizes making and selling those compounds.
For several years, "spice" and “bath salts” have garnered the attention of law enforcement agencies because they are so inexpensive to make and accessible to everyone--so much so, that military installations like Fort Lee have banned their personnel from shopping at stores that sell the products.
Delegate Manoli Loupassi’s bill was merged with the measure signed into law by Governor McDonnell. They add new compounds to the list of criminalized substances that are now labeled "cannabinoids" under state law.
It was necessary to add more chemicals to the law because manufacturers keep changing their products to avoid prosecution under the current list. "Spice” is often labeled potpourri and the effects mimic THC found in marijuana. Bath salts mimic the effects of LSD and cocaine. Their use has resulted in overdoses and death.