Legislature updates ‘Chase’s Law’

New language to address new chemicals used in synthetic marijuana

The Georgia Legislature has passed an updated version of “Chase’s Law” in the effort to ban all varieties of synthetic marijuana from being sold. The drug was blamed for the death last year of McIntosh High School student Chase Burnett, an honor student and soccer player.

A similar bill was approved last year, but manufacturers of synthetic marijuana adjusted their chemical compositions to remain in the technical but legal bounds of the law. The newly-approved House Bill 57, once signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, is aimed at banning the new chemical compounds used in synthetic marijuana as well.

Sen. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, commended the Senate for passing the bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler.

“This is a good public policy measure intended to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our citizens and strengthen previously passed legislation,” said Sen. Chance. “Our goal is to send a clear message to synthetic marijuana manufacturers that this activity will not be tolerated in our state.”

Chance said credit for the new bill is due not just to the legislature, but also to the Burnett family, which has taken a stand in direct opposition to synthetic marijuana manufacturers and dealers.

“The Burnett family has been an outspoken advocate for the complete ban of all synthetic marijuana products and compounds. Their work, both on the passage of SB 370 and HB 57, has been tremendous and I am very grateful for their efforts,” said Sen. Chance.

Synthetic marijuana consists of certain chemicals to mimic the effects of marijuana which are sprayed on herbs, officials have said previously. Last year when Chase’s Law was first passed, local law enforcement agencies confiscated synthetic marijuana from local convenience stores that was marketed at potpourri or incense.

Chase’s father, David Burnett, noted recently that because the manufacturing techniques vary greatly, purchasers don’t know what product they are getting and consequently are putting their lives on the line each time they get high with synthetic marijuana.