05302017CM0186In the wake of a wave of deaths related to synthetic cannabis overdoses, a new law by State Senator Jacqueline Collins will broaden the classification of such drugs, which often skirt the law through minute tweaks to their formulae.

“New restrictions on drugs always come with heavy implications, and this broadening of the ban on synthetic cannabinoids came about following careful deliberations,” Collins said. “Many synthetic cannabinoids are already illegal, but by broadening the criteria, we ensure that they can’t be made legal by small and potentially deadly changes to their chemical formulae. I’m glad we acted swiftly to fight this deadly drug.”

Since March, news reports throughout the Midwest have told of the use of synthetic cannabinoids – called by names like “fake weed” and “K2” – leading to deaths and severe hemorrhaging. The Centers for Disease Control reported that 99 percent of these cases have occurred in Illinois.

The measure, Senate Bill 2341, adds all synthetic cannabinoids to the Controlled Substances Act and makes synthetics subject to emergency controlled substance scheduling. Manufacturers will be subject to a Class 3 felony charge, while those charged with simple possession would face a Class 4 felony.

Signed into law last week, it is effective Jan. 1, 2019.

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Chicago Office:
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Chicago, IL 60620
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Springfield, IL 62706
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