We are pleased that the Georgia Legislature, Governor Deal, and a dedicated group of High School Students worked together to see that Chase’s Law was passed and signed in Georgia yesterday.
It is sad that the death of a fine young man was the cost of this bill, but we are hopeful that this law will be the first step in outlawing synthetic marijuana from Georgia’s retail stores.
Unfortunately, this will not be the last word. As we have seen in Illinois, retailers will continue to try to skirt this law by introducing compounds that have a chemical composition that has been slightly altered from those in the law, and law enforcement will face the inability to distinguish legal from illegal compounds once more.
We call for vigilance in Georgia. We must continue to protect our citizens by working together with a thousand eyes and ears to make sure this drug does not find its way into Georgia once more. We also call upon the legislature to review this law on a regular basis, with the aid of law enforcement, to make sure it is effective.
We must insure that it is not just the end user, but also the sellers of these drugs that are prosecuted.
Gov. Deal outlaws synthetic marijuana
2:11 PM, Mar 27, 2012 | 1 comments
ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill Tuesday that outlaws all forms of synthetic marijuana in the state.
Synthetic marijuana is made by mixing marijuana-like compounds with different dried plants. The substance is legal and is sold in gas stations throughout Georgia.
The new legislation, SB 370, was named Chase’s Law in honor of Chase Corbitt Burnett, a 16-year-old honor student and soccer player at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City. Chase passed away in his parents’ home after smoking synthetic marijuana.
Chase’s parents attended the bill signing, as did Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, House Speaker David Ralston and Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan.
“These synthetic substances pose an enormous risk to our public safety,” Gov. Deal said in a statement. “As the usage has dramatically increased, instances of violence, bodily harm and even death have risen with it. I applaud the GBI and the General Assembly for their fast work on this legislation, which addresses a pressing need.”
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were nearly 7,000 calls nationwide related to adverse effects associated with synthetic marijuana in 2011. Doctors have determined that it can cause psychosis and increase the tendency of violence.