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Senate Approves Bill Criminalizing Synthetic Drugs

SACRAMENTO (AP) — The state Senate has passed a bill that would make it a crime to possess certain synthetic drugs that are growing in popularity among teenagers.

Lawmakers passed SB1283 on a 37-0 vote Thursday.

The bill by Democratic Sen. Cathleen Galgiani of Stockton targets synthetic marijuana or stimulants known as "spice" and "bath salts." It currently is illegal to sell the so-called designer drugs, but there is no law against use and possession.

The bill imposes an infraction and a $250 fine for the first possession, followed by an increase in fines and required drug treatment. The third violation would be punishable by a misdemeanor.

Galgiani says the drugs have triggered full-blown psychotic episodes. Her office says that in one case a person who used bath salts ate the face off someone else.

The bill now moves to the Assembly.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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