TRENTON – New Jersey state senators voted to approve a bill to criminalize the manufacture, sale and possession of synthetic marijuana on Thursday.
“Designer pot imposters have a vast reach and dangerous side effects,” said state Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset). “These popular synthetics mimic marijuana and have caused violent seizures, elevated heart rates and death. They should be considered dangerous, illegal drugs.”
Under bipartisan bill, it is a second-degree crime to produce or sell one or more ounces of synthetic marijuana and it is a third-degree crime to produce or sell less than an ounce. This measure also makes a third-degree crime for possession.
“Distributers of fake pot attempt to evade law enforcement agents by selling in neighborhood shops or online sold varieties such as “Spice,” “K2,” or “Blaze” as incense or potpourri,” Bateman added. “This is an entirely illegal enterprise and associates must face the most severe penalties under New Jersey’s controlled dangerous substance law.”
The Assembly is next to act on this legislation.