State lawmakers are moving to expand the chemical compounds used to make synthetic drugs.
The legislature has approved an amended version of LB 298, putting it into position for first-round approval.
The sponsor of the measure, Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, tells colleagues he had hoped the Unicameral had addressed the issue the last couple of years when it banned the chemical compounds used to make K2, synthetic marijuana
“We captured successfully the first and second generation classes, but the designer drug makers, many of whom are overseas, have been hard at work to get around our laws,” McCoy says.
Synthetic drugs can be marketed under a number of names. Newer generations have arisen since the legislature acted. Now, they are sold legally in Nebraska and surrounding states. Supporters of the legislation say the legal status lures youth into using drugs they deem safe, yet with the same effect as illicit drugs.
Still, skeptics wondered whether LB 298 expands the law too broadly, casting a net so wide that it would make other, innocent uses of the chemicals illegal.
Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha makes just such an assertion during legislative floor debate.
“I know that people are sincere in what they’re saying. I’m opposed to young people using drugs, but there’s such a thing as overkill,” according to Chambers.
The legislature adjourned for the week before acting on the amended bill.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]