Within days of decriminalizing the real thing, Connecticut lawmakers are making possession of synthetic cannibal and legal saliva a crime.
In case you were unaware, on June 8th Connecticut passed SB1014, to decriminalize pot or as the bill puts it a "non-criminal violation". This means anyone caught with under a half ounce of pot is subject to a ticket and fine similar to that of a speeding ticket. This is another big victory against the drug war, and the Connecticut legislature deserves praise.
Before this bill was even signed by the governor, however, the Connecticut Senate had started working on a bill that would criminalize possession of synthetic pot. Synthetic pot is made to simulate the effects of pot, but until March was not regulated by the government. In March, the Federal Government reclassified synthetic pot as a schedule 1 controlled substance. This is the same level of restriction placed on heroin, meth, and real pot. The bill to legalize pot was passed only after Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman stepped in to break the 18-18 tie. The bill to make synthetic pot illegal, on the other hand, passed 36-0.
Together, these bills mean that if you are caught with a half ounce of pot you have no criminal record, but if you are caught with fake weed you get a criminal record. The irony of this is not lost on Senate Minority Leader John McKinney. Mckinney, who voted against SB1014, said after the second vote "For the life of me, I don’t know how I am going to explain to my constituents that we have one penalty for the fake pot but another for the real pot."
Synthetic pot was not the only thing that the second bill would make illegal. Salvia Divinorum is a little known hallucinogen that has been growing in popularity. This plant has been cultivated by Native American shaman for thousands of years to become the world’s strongest hallucinogen. The reasons it has been overlooked by the drug warrior until now are its relative unpopularity and short span. The effects of Salvia Divinorum only last for a couple of minutes and what most important - you can pass a drug test while being under it. Like synthetic pot; salvia was often sold at convenient stores prior to this new law.
In the grand scheme of things, Connecticut is still a win against the drug war. They have helped a lot more people by decriminalizing pot than they have harmed by criminalizing salvia and synthetic pot. With the real thing decriminalized, most likely the synthetic market would have dried up anyway. The whole situation just serves to further highlight the hypocrisy and idiocy of the drug war.