State lawmakers must outlaw synthetic drugs

Members of Glynn County's state delegation say the General Assembly is doing everything it can to make it difficult to legally manufacture and sell what police refer to as "designer drugs," chemical compounds that mimic the mind-altering powers of illegal substances like marijuana.

But no matter how hard legislators try, producers of synthetics find a way around new laws and continue to hawk them on the market openly and legally.

To any parent or guardian who has witnessed the panic and fear in the eyes of a young teen who made the mistake of experimenting with synthetic drugs, merely trying to stay one step ahead of manufacturers is obviously not good enough. Before laws targeting new synthetics even go into effect, new drugs that skirt revised or expanded directives are on the shelves and on the streets. And in the hands of 13-year-olds, like they were the other day in Glynn County.

Somehow, some way, the state legislature must do better. If it can tailor-fit tax measures, then it should be able to do the same with a law that takes aim at designer drugs.

Somewhere in the House and Senate, out of the dozens of lawyers elected to office, there is an attorney with the wherewithal to author a blanket bill that will cover all attempts to sell anything that replicates the effects of marijuana or any other kind of illegal street substance.

If necessary, Georgia can look around the nation or around the globe to see how others are tackling the problem. Surely someone in some state has come up with a weapon - in this case, legal language - that works. We're certainly not alone in this dilemma.

To be outsmarted by savvy chemists with only profits in mind and with no thought given to the physical or mental damage they may be causing others is unacceptable. For the sake of our children, the state - the people of Georgia - must win the day.