Madison: Wisconsin’s State Senate passed a statewide K2 ban May 17 on a voice vote. The action means that only one step remains before synthetic cannabinoids marketed as incense under names including K2 and Spice will be as illegal as their natural counterparts in Wisconsin – a floor vote by the State Assembly. That vote is likely to come in the next scheduled floorperiod, which begins June 7. Earlier, the legislation cleared Senate and Assembly committees on unanimous votes.

The push for a statewide ban has been ongoing for more than a year as municipalities and counties began enacting a hodge-podge of bans, with little debate. Hyperbolic rhetoric focusing on a couple isolated incidents portrayed K2 as a deadly scourge that targeted youth. In a state where alcohol related mayhem is a daily occurrence with well over a hundred daily DUI arrests, K2 should not be a major concern. Just like Congress in 1937, Wisconsin elected representatives have failed to do the due diligence or consider the unanticipated consequences of creating new crimes where none existed before. If a bad reaction to a substance is all that is needed to justify locking someone up, what about alcohol?

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