Debate Begins for Bill Aimed at Getting Rid of Synthetic Drugs


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska lawmakers are debating a bill that would ban chemicals used in synthetic drugs, which mimic the effects of substances like methamphetamine and Ecstasy.

Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha presented the bill to lawmakers on Thursday.

Nebraska outlawed some synthetic drugs, including K2 and bath salts, in 2011 and 2012. But McCoy says drug manufacturers have changed their chemical formulas to skirt drug laws. Newer generations of the drugs are legal and can be bought online or in hemp shops.

Lawmakers approved a technical change to the bill on Thursday but did not advance the measure itself. Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha raised concerns that the bill was too broad, saying it could unintentionally outlaw chemicals that have other useful purposes.