BOSTON- On the second day of the budget debate, the Massachusetts Senate adopted an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, filed by Senator Michael O. Moore, Senate Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, to ban synthetic marijuana in the Commonwealth.
“In 2012, President Obama signed into law the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act, which banned certain synthetic drugs. These are not drugs being sold on the streets but rather on the shelves in local convenience stores. Although the Federal law should keep all these synthetic substances off shelves, without this amendment local law enforcement agencies would not have the full authority to act to remove these substances,” Senator Moore stated. “Furthermore, this amendment keeps Massachusetts a step ahead of devious manufacturers by banning substantially similar drugs. This amendment will help our law enforcement personnel to ensure the safety of residents.”
The amendment adds synthetic cannabinoids to the list of Class C substances. The amendment also establishes that definition of analogue to ban substantially similar drugs.
“If this language is maintained in the final budget, its implementation will help to save lives in the future,” said Moore. The budget will now move to a conference committee with the House of Representatives to agree upon differences in both chambers’ budgets. The final budget will go to Governor Deval Patrick for his consideration. The new fiscal year begins July 1.