House approves cannabinoid ban

Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

JUNEAU — The Alaska House of Representatives on Monday unanimously passed a bill banning synthetic cannabinoids.

MICHAEL PENN / JUNEAU EMPIRE
MICHAEL PENN / JUNEAU EMPIRE

The bill would criminalize possession of small amounts of the substance as a misdemeanor, while distribution or possession of large amounts would be made a felony.

This measure comes on the heels of a federal ban on cannabinoids that will take effect on Tuesday.

Republican Rep. Cathy Muñoz of Juneau proposed the bill after hearing of a constituent who was hospitalized from smoking synthetic cannabinoids, which are sold at some retailers under names such as Spice or K2 and smoked to provide an effect similar to marijuana.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a similar version of the bill. A spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell says he would support a ban on the substance.



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