House votes to ban synthetic drugs that mimic pot
By JIM ABRAMS
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has voted to ban certain synthetic drugs now sold legally in most states that mimic the hallucinogenic and stimulant properties of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines.
Supporters of the measure said synthetic drugs marketed under names such as "bath salts" and "plant food" can be just as harmful as the narcotics they are meant to imitate.
The bill, which now goes to the Senate, also gives the Drug Enforcement Administration more authority to temporarily ban a drug while its potential dangers to public safety are investigated.
Detractors said the bill went too far in restricting access to chemical compounds that could be of use in researching cures to diseases.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)