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Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Synthetic Drug Law

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Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Indiana’s synthetic drug law bars the sale of certain compounds and look-alikes, while allowing the pharmacy board to add new compounds to the list of banned substances. 

Two of the first people convicted under the law challenged the statute, claiming it was too vague to be constitutional. 

They also argued the General Assembly couldn’t delegate that much authority to an administrative agency, and the state Court of Appeals agreed.  But the Supreme Court went the other way. 

In two unanimous decisions, the Court said that ignorance of the law was no defense, and the legislature could allow the pharmacy board to make rules that carried criminal penalties. 

In a statement, Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), who authored the law, praised the Court’s ruling, saying it will help stop the spread of the harmful drugs. 

In its decision, the Supreme Court did drop the charges against the two men, but for a technical reason that doesn’t impact the overall law. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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