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Panel advances tougher synthetic drugs bill

March 14, 2013

Indiana lawmakers are advancing a bill that would make it illegal to possess or deal "lookalike" synthetic drugs similar to those known as "bath salts" and other nicknames.

The House Criminal Code Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a bill that would also give state agencies more power to suspend the licenses of businesses caught selling those drugs.

Supporters of the bill say the "lookalike" provision is needed because drug makers have simply made changes to the drug compounds to get around current laws that are based on specific chemical makeups.

Other provisions would expand the ability of prosecutors to file charges against those driving under the influence of synthetic drugs.

The bill approved by the Senate last month now goes to the full House for consideration.

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