Village bans sale, possession of synthetic designer drugs

By on October 7, 2011

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board is just saying no … to synthetic alternative drugs.

The Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to prohibit the sale and possession of synthetic alternative designer drugs. The ban includes synthetic cannabis, which imitates the effects of genuine cannabis when consumed.

The state of Illinois voted to ban synthetic alternative designer drugs such as “bath salts” (a product that imitates the effects of heroin and cocaine) and synthetic cannabis in July 2011, but the ban on the latter product will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2012.

According to a document from Chief of Police Brad Sauer, the Sugar Grove Police Department felt a need to “fill the gap” (between the state ban on synthetic cannabis and the date the ban goes into effect) with an ordinance preventing the sale or possession of all of these alternative designer substances for the interim. The document also states that the ban will give the Police Department the latitude in the future to charge people in possession of these substances with an ordinance violation for small amounts, or a misdemeanor—using the state statute—for large amounts or second offenders.

“I was reading the local papers, and there was an article about how Aurora was working on banning synthetic drugs, and the seriousness of it—how it was legal, and (how) a young man had died from it. And so I felt it was important that we move this (ban) forward,” Village President Sean Michels said.

Synthetic cannabis first became available in the mid-2000s. Sauer’s document states that the mixture of legal herbs found in the synthetic drug has synthetic cannabinoids, which act on the body in a similar way to substances naturally found in cannabis, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).