01/21/11 Senate lawmakers by a 47-0 vote Thursday approved a bill authored by State Senator Ed Charbonneau, the Republican from Valparaiso,  banning pot-like products across Indiana and creating stiff penalties for using and selling the substances.

Senate Bill 57 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“These harmful intoxicants need to be off store shelves and out of the hands of our youth,” Charbonneau said. “Lawmakers understand the dangers of these drugs and are taking serious actions to curb the use and distribution of Spice and other synthetic pot-like products.”

Charbonneau’s proposal adds various chemical compounds used in synthetic pot to the state’s controlled substances list and creates the same penalties for producing, distributing, selling or using the products as marijuana.

Current state law bans “analog drugs” that are designed to have similar effects as illegal drugs, but a loophole exempts drugs labeled “not for human consumption” – often used on brands like ‘Spice’ that are sold as herbal incense, Charbonneau said.

Charbonneau said since the drug is not labeled for human consumption, the Federal Drug Administration has not tested its effects and therefore the long-range implications are unknown.