A proposed Ohio law seeks to end what a prosecutor calls a "cat-and-mouse" game involving chemists changing synthetic drugs' molecular content to keep them legal.
At issue are the sale and abuse of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and herbal incense, which can cause users to behave in bizarre and dangerous ways.
Matt Donahue, a special prosecutor with the Ohio Attorney General's Office, said current Ohio law bans a particular chemical compound used to make such drugs.
Donahue said individuals who manufacture the drugs are altering the drugs' chemical makeup in a way that makes prosecuting individuals for possession impossible under Ohio law.
A legislative proposal would ban the practice of adding extra compounds to these drugs to skirt the law.
"Those who sell or distribute synthetic drugs, we are putting you on notice. We're coming after you. We're going to take these off the shelves. If you persist in having them on the shelves and selling them, we're going to prosecute you, then we're going to put you in prison," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
DeWine said he would ask retail associations to email all members warning them to stop selling the drugs.
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