Lansing, MI (WXYZ) - Lawmakers in Lansing are focusing their efforts on a crackdown on designer drugs like synthetic marijuana.
Four bills dealing with the issue are making their way through the legislature.
Today the House Judiciary Committee discussed two of the bills and voted to move them to the full House.
State Representative Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) introduced an amendment that would make it a felony to sell synthetic marijuana and not just a misdemeanor.
"It's going to send a very strong message to someone who wants to sell these very dangerous substances," Brown said. "We're not kidding around. We're serious."
The legislation would give police and the state health department more authority to remove designer drugs like K2, Spice and bath salts from store shelves.
Synthetic marijuana is typically marketed as incense. The danger comes when kids smoke it.
"I've got two kids and the word on the street in the high school is this is ok because it's legal," said State Representative Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth).
Critics say not only are these designer drugs dangerous and addictive, but manufacturers are skirting the law by changing one or two banned ingredients to avoid getting busted.
Synthetic marijuana has been linked to several recent high-profile crimes in metro Detroit.
One lawmaker from Dearborn, Representative George Darany, discussed the Cipriano family attacks in Farmington Hills during today's hearing.
Investigators believe Tucker Cipriano was under the influence of synthetic marijuana when he reportedly attacked and killed his father and beat his mother and brother with a baseball bat.
Several communities have been coming up with local ways to fight K2 and Spice.
A statewide ban would result in a uniform law and make it easier to crackdown on new products as quickly as two weeks once new items with new names and different ingredients hit the stores.
All four bills are expected to be approved by the full legislature by next week and would go into effect around July 1st.
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