YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa today announced the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs will hold a public hearing in Newark on Thursday, May 10 – one month from today – to take testimony aimed at making New Jersey’s temporary ban on synthetic marijuana permanent.
“We struck an important first blow by enacting a temporary ban that, for the first time, outlawed every possible variant of synthetic marijuana,” Chiesa said. “Now we are taking the steps needed to make the ban permanent, and a public hearing is a vital part of that process.
“These toxic chemicals have devastating effects on the body and mind, but they are growing in popularity among teenage users nationwide,” he said. “There is no time to waste in our effort to ensure shady retailers will never again sell these poisons as if they were legal.”
New Jersey on Feb. 28 became the fourth state in the nation to enact a sweeping ban that covers all known and unknown variants of synthetic marijuana. That includes hundreds of dangerous, manmade chemicals, sold with brand names such as “K2” and “Spice,” all designed to mimic marijuana’s effect on the brain.
The drugs are temporarily banned by an Order of the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, which adds all known and unknown variants of synthetic marijuana to the list of Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substances in New Jersey.
As Schedule I CDS, the drugs are now subject to the highest level of State control, like cocaine and heroin. Manufacture, distribution, sale, or possession of the chemicals is a third-degree crime that could send a violator to prison for three to five years or produce a fine of up to $25,000.
Next month’s public hearing is necessary in order to administratively adopt a permanent regulation.
WHEN: 10 a.m., Thursday, May 10
WHERE: NJDOC headquarters, 124 Halsey Street, Newark
Requests to speak should be submitted, in writing, no later than May 4, 2012, to Sharon Joyce, Acting Director, New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 45027, 124 Halsey Street, Newark, NJ 07101 (Written comments are also encouraged and should be sent no later than May 4 to the same mailing address.).
Those who don’t pre-register to speak will still be given an opportunity to do so — only as time permits.
EXCLUSIVE: Operators of convenience stores, head shops and boardwalk novelty stores who sell “Spice,” “Black Mamba,” “Kush” and other forms of synthetic pot have a 10-day grace period in which they can surrender the products or face criminal charges if caught selling them. READ MORE….