The swirling force of Texas politics

125 TX Lawmakers Move to Ban Synthetic Marijuana

By CHRIS TOMLINSON and Frank Heinz
|  Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011  |  Updated 12:15 PM CDT
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125 TX Lawmakers Move to Ban Synthetic Marijuana

NBC Connecticut

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Texas lawmakers hope to ban the production, sale and possession of six forms of synthetic marijuana in legislation they say would be the most comprehensive in the nation.

Legislation announced Wednesday seeks to ban new chemical compounds that mimic THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana.

Chemists spray the chemicals on herbs and then sell them under a variety of brand names to be smoked. There are hundreds of different chemical formulations that attach to chemical receptors in the brain and make people high, and many are already banned.

State Sen. Florence Shapiro and state Rep. Jerry Madden, Republican lawmakers from Plano, introduced legislation to ban six currently unregulated sub-classes of these compounds that make up most of the products currently sold across the state.

In November, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration used its emergency scheduling authority to temporarily control the distribution of five chemicals used to make "fake pot" products. The chemicals are JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol.

"Except as authorized by law, this action will make possessing and selling these chemicals or the products that contain them illegal in the U.S. for at least one year while the DEA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further study whether these chemicals and products should be permanently controlled," the DEA said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

Dallas, Southlake, Mansfield and many other North Texas cities have instituted local ordiances restricting the sale of the products.

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