Synthesized marijuana and other synthetic street drugs bearing the label “not for human consumption” will no longer be common items found on Michigan retail inventories.

On June 19, In the wake of violent controversies in different parts of the country alleging the use of designer drugs, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed a group of bills banning the sale of synthetic drugs, including K2, Spice and bath salts into law. The law is set to go into effect July 1, influencing the biennial review of the University’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

State Rep. Jeff Irwin (D–Ann Arbor) said the publicly supported legislation is an attempt by the state to improve regulation of the evolving culture of drugs.

“It’s really a cat-and-mouse game between the state and the manufacturers (of synthetic drugs),” Irwin said. “The state wants to stop K2 in its tracks.”

Irwin said previous legislation has yet to be effective in preventing drug activity in the state, and these laws plan to aid the ongoing efforts.

“The laws the state has enacted to crack down on (synthetic drugs) haven’t really worked,” Irwin said.

Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the University’s Department of Public Safety, explained that prior to the passing of the bill, the sale of substances like K2 in public markets was legal for purposes other than consumption. The consumption of such substances has already been outlawed.

Brown said establishments under University security jurisdiction such as stores in the Union and Palmer Commons haven’t sold the substances included in the legislation.

“What we would have been adjusting as University police officers are those people who might possess something or who are still dealing with the effects of use of it.”

The current University Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy prohibits the consumption or sale of illegal substances.

The policy reads, “Employees, students, faculty and campus visitors may not unlawfully manufacture, consume, possess, sell, distribute, transfer or be under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs or controlled substances on University property.”

Mary Jo Desprez, administrator of the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy and Prevention Program, said the policy is currently under review and will be sent out to the University community in October.

Desprez explained that the revised policy will include information on the health hazards synthetic drugs pose to those who consume them.

“One of the things we’ll do in response (to the legislation involving) K2 and the synthetic drugs that we’re hearing more about is to put the health risks right in the policy so that people know,” Desprez said.

Brown said the presence and consumption of synthetic drugs on campus is not high on the list of commonly encountered illegal activities, but will continue to be monitored with the new laws.

“Quite frankly, I think if our students are going to use or abuse some kind of (substance), they’re going get the real thing,” Brown said.

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