The Alabama Legislature gave final passage Thursday to a bill outlawing the possession and sale of synthetic marijuana and other so-called designer drugs.
The bill, introduced by Senator Arthur Orr, Decatur, and Representative Allen Farley, McCalla, will make Alabama's law one of the most stringent in the country. The bill encompasses all of the known chemical compounds surrounding these drugs. It also creates a "catch-all" provision for analog substances. An analog substance is one that is synthetic in nature and is created to be different from, but mimic the effects of a substance that has already been declared illegal.
"We believe that law enforcement now has the tools to bring the era of synthetic drugs to a halt and in doing so if just one young life is spared the effects of such drugs it will be a great thing", said Orr. "I want to thank Rep. Allen Farley and Rep. Blaine Galliher for their efforts to make this legislation a reality."
"As a former law officer I think this legislation is long overdue," said Rep. Allen Farley, "I want to thank the Alabama District Attorneys Association for their help in drafting this legislation and making it the strong bill that it is. We should see an immediate decline in these drugs following Governor Bentley signing the bill into law."
"My area has been particularly hard hit by these drugs and I hope what we have done will turn the tide and see these synthetic drugs eradicated from our state," said Rep. Galliher.
Alabama District Attorneys Association President Chris McCool issued a statement on Thursday calling it a landmark day in the history of battling illegal drugs.
"We want to thank Sen. Arthur Orr, Rep. Allen Farley, and Rep. Blaine Galliher for their tireless efforts in bringing this legislation and seeing it to fruition."
"Hundreds, maybe thousands of young lives have been damaged by these synthetic drugs, now we have a tool to not only stop the sale but the introduction of new drugs, said McCool."