synthetic marijuana

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The Missouri House has approved new legislation taking aim at synthetic drugs.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

  

  Missouri House members have given first-round approval to legislation taking aim at synthetic drugs.

The bill would add several specific substances to what is considered synthetic marijuana.

It was endorsed by a voice vote Tuesday and needs a second vote before moving to the Senate.

In recent years, Missouri has tried to keep pace with evolving synthetic drugs and twice has approved legislation targeting them. Sponsoring House member Shawn Rhoads says the current bill is needed to stay ahead in the effort.

Federal prosecutors are cracking down on businesses in mid Missouri that allegedly sold synthetic marijuana.

marijuana
LancerenoK / Flickr

Federal prosecutors have announced a broader crackdown on central Missouri businesses that allegedly sold synthetic marijuana.

The U.S. attorney's office said Friday that four businesses and nine people were indicted earlier this month on charges of conspiring to distribute products that often are labeled as "incense" but actually are intended to be used as a marijuana equivalent.

The indictments were not announced until Friday because of the previous partial federal government shutdown.