Sale of “lookalike” drugs banned

Lawmakers passed a bill March 24 that bans certain synthetic drugs.

LB1009, introduced by Gothenberg Sen. Matt Williams, bans the sale and marketing of “lookalike” substances.

The bill defines a lookalike substance as one that is not specifically categorized as a controlled substance but possesses one or more of the following characteristics:
• packaging or labeling that suggests a user would achieve euphoria, hallucination, mood enhancement or stimulation that mimics those of a controlled substance;
• images or labels that suggest it is a controlled substance;
• disproportionately high pricing; or
• warning labels suggesting compliance with state and federal controlled substances laws.

A person who knowingly offers, displays, markets or sells a lookalike substance could be charged with a Class IV felony, which carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment with 12 months probation, a $10,000 fine or both.

LB1009 also classifies the production, distribution and sale of certain lookalike substances as violations of the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Each individual package will be considered a separate violation. The bill does not restrict the ability of scientific experts to use synthetic substances for investigative purposes.

The bill has a severability clause, which means that if one part of the bill is declared unconstitutional, the remaining parts of the bill will not be impacted.

The bill passed with an emergency clause on a 47-0 vote.

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