Deal signs measure banning synthetic marijuana

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed into law a measure banning all forms of synthetic marijuana in Georgia.

The legislation, Senate Bill 370, was named Chase’s Law in memory of Chase Corbitt Burnett. The 16-year-old honor student and soccer player, was found dead in a hot tub at his parent’s Fayette County home after smoking synthetic marijuana, according to Deal’s office.

“These synthetic substances pose an enormous risk to our public safety,” Deal said in a news release. “As the usage has dramatically increased, instances of violence, bodily harm and even death have risen with it. I applaud the GBI and the General Assembly for their fast work on this legislation, which addresses a pressing need.”

Synthetic marijuana — nicknamed spice — contains marijuana-like chemical compounds that are combined with different forms of dried vegetation. Often sold in gas stations throughout the state, many people looking for a legal way to get high buy and smoke spice, authorities say.

“I support this bill being signed by Governor Deal and we believe that this is huge step in fighting the war on drugs,” the Savannah Morning News quoted Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie as saying. “Spice is one of the most dangerous drugs in our society.”

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