Synthetic drugs bill approved by Senate panel

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A western Kentucky lawmaker's proposal to control the production and sale of synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of methamphetamine, marijuana and other controlled substances has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The bill by Rep. John Tilley, a Hopkinsville Democrat, was approved 8-0 by the committee without questions or discussion. It passed the House of Representatives 96-0 on March 13.

The legislature had previously banned hallucinogenic drugs known as "bath salts" and synthetic marijuana, but chemists were able to get around the ban by slightly altering formulas. Tilley's approach would ban whole categories of compounds.

Penalties for first-time offenders could include forfeiture of property, fines, jail time and loss of alcohol sale licenses.

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