, Muskogee, OK

October 16, 2013

Keep synthetic pot off streets

— Oklahoma legislators should follow the examples of other states and the city of Muskogee and make it tougher to manufacture or distribute synthetic marijuana.

The Muskogee City Council recently passed an ordinance declaring synthetic marijuana to be a public nuisance.

That ordinance was designed to help law enforcement thwart manufacturers’ ability to skirt the law.

Synthetic marijuana is created by manufacturers who combine plants with chemicals to mimic the affects of marijuana.

The product is then pushed in many legitimate businesses as incense or potpourri.

Manufacturers stay one step ahead of law enforcement because of a loophole in the way laws are written to ban synthetic marijuana.

The laws ban specific chemical combinations. Manufacturers just change the chemicals or the amounts of chemicals to avoid creating the outlawed chemical fingerprint.

A potential amendment to state law would include a blanket ban of synthetic marijuana.

The proposal won’t reach the state Legislature until February.

Muskogee’s nuisance ban has not been tested in court.

But our councilors’ efforts to push that substance out of our city should be lauded.

Their backing of the proposed amendment should be mimicked by all councils in the state.

The fight to keep this substance off our streets should be diligent and passionate.