Legislature(2011 - 2012)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/22/2011 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 3 REQUIREMENTS FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 3(STA) Out of Committee
+ HB 7 SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS AS SCHEDULE IIA TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 19 SPECIAL REQUEST LICENSE PLATES TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Held Over to 2/24/11>
+ HB 119 AIDEA: PROCUREMENT; PROJECTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 119(EDT) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 7                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act classifying certain synthetic cannabinoids as                                                                      
     schedule IIA controlled substances; and providing for                                                                      
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CATHY  MUNOZ,   SPONSOR,  discussed  CSHB  7                                                                    
(JUD).  She  delineated  that  synthetic  cannabinoids  were                                                                    
materials that contained  hallucinogenic chemicals that were                                                                    
sprayed on leafy plant material.  The materials were sold on                                                                    
the  internet  and  in  stores  under  a  variety  of  names                                                                    
including  K2   and  Spice.   To  increase   popularity  and                                                                    
distinguish  the  product  from   drugs  such  as  LSD,  the                                                                    
products were marketed as a  synthetic marijuana or incense.                                                                    
She had first  heard about Spice or K2 from  the parent of a                                                                    
boy who  had experienced a  serious adverse reaction  to the                                                                    
drug. She  explained that within  moments of  inhalation the                                                                    
young man experienced severe vomiting,  loss of reality, the                                                                    
inability to walk and talk,  and violent outbursts. She read                                                                    
an excerpt from a letter written by the young man:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     "I  only  had a  small  amount  and  in less  than  two                                                                    
     minutes I was losing my  perception of what was real in                                                                    
     every way.  I lost  control of my  legs and  I couldn't                                                                    
     walk.  I  couldn't talk.  I  can  remember thinking  to                                                                    
     myself  that  I  wasn't  going  to  come  out  of  this                                                                    
     craziness  and this  might be  how  I end  up dying.  I                                                                    
     remember telling  my brother to  call 911 and  going to                                                                    
     the hospital."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  relayed that many similar  stories had                                                                    
surfaced  since her  office began  working on  the bill  and                                                                    
that  many   states  had  enacted  bans   on  the  material.                                                                    
Synthetic  cannabinoids were  relatively new  to the  United                                                                    
States and  were manufactured in China  and Europe. Germany,                                                                    
Sweden,  Russia and  England had  all banned  the substance.                                                                    
Given the accessibility of the  substance, its low cost, and                                                                    
its difficulty  to drug test,  popularity was  increasing in                                                                    
the  U.S.,  particularly  among the  youth  population.  She                                                                    
explained that  the herbal  and chemical  compounds commonly                                                                    
produced  a  reaction  similar to  marijuana.  The  original                                                                    
legislation   would  have   classified  the   substances  as                                                                    
schedule  IIA,  which   included  compounds  that  contained                                                                    
hallucinogenic   substances.   With   the  advice   of   the                                                                    
Department of  Law (DOL), the  bill was amended  to classify                                                                    
certain synthetic  cannabinoids as schedule  IIIA controlled                                                                    
substances. She asked a member  of her staff to describe the                                                                    
legislation in detail.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:40:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENDRA   KLOSTER,   STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE   CATHY   MUNOZ,                                                                    
explained  that they  had worked  with  DOL and  Legislative                                                                    
Legal to classify the product  as a schedule IIIA controlled                                                                    
substance.  Other   synthetic  THCs  [tetrahydrocannabinols]                                                                    
fell under the IIIA category.  The bill listed the different                                                                    
chemical  compounds of  the synthetic  THC contained  in the                                                                    
product that  were determined by  the DEA  [Drug Enforcement                                                                    
Agency]  and   research  conducted  in  other   states.  The                                                                    
Municipality  of  Anchorage  supported the  legislation  and                                                                    
already  had  a  ban  on   the  substance.  Sergeant  Robert                                                                    
Thompson of  the Fairbanks Police Department  had provided a                                                                    
written  statement expressing  the  department's support  of                                                                    
the bill  (copy on file).  The department had  experienced a                                                                    
problem with  a driver who  had been under the  influence of                                                                    
K2  and had  experienced seizures.  The department  had been                                                                    
unable to charge  the driver with an offence  as the product                                                                    
was   not  classified   as  a   controlled  substance.   The                                                                    
legislation  was also  supported by  many constituents,  the                                                                    
Advisory  Board on  Alcoholism and  Drug  Abuse, the  Mat-Su                                                                    
Substance  Abuse  Prevention  Coalition,  the  Alaska  Peace                                                                    
Officers Association,  the Alaska  Association of  Chiefs of                                                                    
Police, and the Women Police of Alaska.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  informed  the  committee  that  technical                                                                    
questions about  the classification  of the  substance could                                                                    
be directed  to the  Department of Public  Safety Scientific                                                                    
Crime Detection Lab (SCDL).                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara wondered  if the effects of  K2 or Spice                                                                    
resembled  those of  marijuana  or hashish  and whether  the                                                                    
penalty should be similar to one of those substances.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ORIN DYM, FORENSIC LABORATORY  MANAGER, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC                                                                    
SAFETY SCIENTIFIC CRIME  DETECTION LAB (via teleconference),                                                                    
was not  a toxicologist and  could not speak to  the effects                                                                    
of  the substances.  He explained  that synthetic  compounds                                                                    
were  not natural  products and  had to  be synthesized  and                                                                    
that K2  or Spice was  definitely a synthetic  or "designer"                                                                    
drug.  Marijuana   was  a  plant  material   that  naturally                                                                    
excreted THCs. He could not  speak to how the product should                                                                    
be specifically classified.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JERRY LUCKHAUPT, ASSISTANT  REVISOR OF STATUTES, LEGISLATIVE                                                                    
LEGAL SERVICES,  informed the  committee that  the Judiciary                                                                    
Committee had  placed the synthetic  THCs in with  the other                                                                    
classified  THCs.  Currently  schedule IIIA  drugs  included                                                                    
natural THC,  the active ingredient in  marijuana; and three                                                                    
synthetic  THCs. The  committee elected  to place  the drugs                                                                    
under the  same category  given their similarities  and same                                                                    
classification.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked  about  the penalty  for a  first                                                                    
conviction.  Mr.  Luckhaupt  replied that  the  penalty  for                                                                    
distribution  or manufacturing  was a  felony. There  was no                                                                    
major difference  between schedules  I, II, and  III related                                                                    
to  penalties  for  the  manufacturing   or  delivery  of  a                                                                    
substance.  Possession  could  be   either  a  felony  or  a                                                                    
misdemeanor, depending upon the  amount of the substance. He                                                                    
explained that  for schedule  III substances  the possession                                                                    
of less than  three grams was a misdemeanor  and above three                                                                    
grams was  a felony.  The possession of  a schedule  II drug                                                                    
was a felony in any amount.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:47:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  asked how  three grams compared  to the                                                                    
size of a marijuana joint.  Mr. Dym responded that a typical                                                                    
marijuana cigarette weighed approximately  0.3 grams or one-                                                                    
third of a  gram and that three  grams equaled approximately                                                                    
nine to ten hand-rolled cigarettes.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg wondered  how  the substance  was                                                                    
manufactured.  He  asked  whether   an  organic  product  or                                                                    
chemicals for  a lab  were required  to make  the substance.                                                                    
Mr.  Dym  responded  that the  process  involved  an  exotic                                                                    
chemistry  that required  quite a  bit of  knowledge, skill,                                                                    
and  equipment.  The  process was  not  a  typical  backyard                                                                    
"clandestine" operation.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg  asked   whether  there   was  a                                                                    
specific  source  that  provided  most  of  the  product  to                                                                    
Alaska.  Mr.  Dym replied  that  he  did not  have  specific                                                                    
detail   and  that   previous  testimony   had  traced   the                                                                    
production to a couple of overseas companies.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neuman  asked what the prison  sentence would                                                                    
be for  the possession of  3 grams. Mr.  Luckhaupt responded                                                                    
that the  penalty for a  class A  misdemeanor was up  to one                                                                    
year in  jail and that  the maximum  sentence for a  class C                                                                    
felony  was  up   to  5  years  in  prison.   There  was  no                                                                    
presumptive  term  for a  class  C  felony and  typically  a                                                                    
person who was convicted would  receive a prison sentence of                                                                    
less than one year.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neuman  asked about the typical  sentence for                                                                    
three grams of marijuana.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze noted that DOL  and the Alaska Court System                                                                    
could  probably provide  more  precise  information. He  had                                                                    
hoped to move  the bill out of committee but  there had been                                                                    
several   fiscal  note   questions  raised   by  Legislative                                                                    
Finance.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked how  a police officer  would be                                                                    
able to test whether a driver  was under the influence of K2                                                                    
or Spice.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Kloster replied that  police departments would determine                                                                    
how tests should  be conducted. She explained  that the drug                                                                    
impacted people  much differently than alcohol  did. Current                                                                    
drug testing  methods were not able  to pick up K2  or Spice                                                                    
and tests  for the  drug were more  invasive than  tests for                                                                    
alcohol.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  wondered whether  a blood  test would                                                                    
be a  reliable method to  determine that a person  was under                                                                    
the influence of the drug.  Mr. Luckhaupt responded that the                                                                    
prosecution of a person who  had been under the influence of                                                                    
a controlled  substance was always  problematic. Prosecutors                                                                    
attempted  to prove  a person's  altered  state based  other                                                                    
factors such  as, possession of  drugs, a  person's actions,                                                                    
and  a blood  test  taken at  the time  of  the offence.  He                                                                    
relayed that currently  a test was not  available that would                                                                    
reveal  the  drug.  The  reason   the  person  in  Fairbanks                                                                    
admitted that he  had taken the drug was because  it had not                                                                    
been illegal.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:54:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson wondered  whether prosecution would be                                                                    
based on the possession of  the substance rather than on its                                                                    
ingestion. Mr.  Luckhaupt replied  that proof that  a person                                                                    
was  driving  under  the  influence  (DUI)  would  still  be                                                                    
required.  He communicated  that  it was  difficult but  not                                                                    
impossible  to   convict  a  person  for   being  under  the                                                                    
influence of a controlled substance.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara believed  that  in  previous years  the                                                                    
legislature had  classified too many things  as felonies. He                                                                    
stated that  a misdemeanor was  a serious crime and  was the                                                                    
appropriate  crime level  in some  cases.  He was  concerned                                                                    
about  the  practice of  adding  non-violent  crimes to  the                                                                    
felony list.  He wondered  whether there was  a way  to make                                                                    
the  distribution of  a  significant amount  of  the drug  a                                                                    
felony  and to  make  the  possession of  a  small amount  a                                                                    
misdemeanor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Luckhaupt  responded that the Judiciary  Committee tried                                                                    
to  reduce the  penalty so  that the  possession of  a small                                                                    
amount would  result in a misdemeanor.  The distribution and                                                                    
sale of  a schedule III  substance was always a  felony. The                                                                    
sale  of  a  schedule  IVA   substance  would  result  in  a                                                                    
misdemeanor.  He  stated  that   dropping  the  level  to  a                                                                    
schedule IVA would be problematic  given that normal THC and                                                                    
the  existing  three  synthetic   THCs  were  classified  as                                                                    
schedule III substances.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  asked  whether  it  was  possible  for                                                                    
distribution to  remain a felony  and for the  possession of                                                                    
more than three grams to be classified as a misdemeanor.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Luckhaupt answered  in  the  affirmative. He  explained                                                                    
that  a fourth  or fifth  degree of  misconduct involving  a                                                                    
controlled substance  could be  created and that  a specific                                                                    
level could be specified for the synthetic THCs.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  discussed that felony charges  would be                                                                    
fought much harder than misdemeanor  charges and that it was                                                                    
important to  factor in the  fairness and the costs  of jail                                                                    
time, and prosecution.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze opened public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Fairclough  MOVED  to  ADOPT CSHB  7  (JUD)  27-                                                                    
LS0044\T.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KATE  BURKHART,   EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  ADVISORY   BOARD  OF                                                                    
ALCOHOLISM AND  DRUG ABUSE, DEPARTMENT OF  HEALTH AND SOCIAL                                                                    
SERVICES, discussed  that the board  was created  by statute                                                                    
to advise  the executive and legislative  branches on issues                                                                    
related to substance abuse. The  board was located under the                                                                    
Department of Health  and Social Services but  did not speak                                                                    
for the  department. She voiced  the board's support  of the                                                                    
legislation. She  delineated that  the chemicals used  in K2                                                                    
were created as part of  a federally funded research project                                                                    
that  studied the  effects of  THC on  the human  brain. The                                                                    
product  was made  in  a highly  sophisticated  lab and  was                                                                    
never intended  for human consumption. The  reported effects                                                                    
of  the  product were  not  similar  to naturally  occurring                                                                    
substances  such as  marijuana.  She  referred to  testimony                                                                    
provided by a  Juneau doctor that discussed  the symptoms of                                                                    
a person who  had been admitted to the  intensive care unit.                                                                    
The  American  Association  of Poison  Control  Centers  had                                                                    
received over  3,000 calls regarding poisoning  incidents in                                                                    
the prior year and 400  calls in January 2011. The substance                                                                    
was implicated  in criminal  activity, DUIs,  violent crime,                                                                    
hallucinations, one known death in  Alaska, and at least one                                                                    
suicide. The product had potential  social costs not only in                                                                    
the  loss of  life and  injury,  but in  emergency room  and                                                                    
medical  costs as  well. The  board felt  strongly that  the                                                                    
substance  should  be  regulated  at  a  higher  level  than                                                                    
marijuana  given   the  severity  of  the   effects  of  the                                                                    
substance.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  asked  whether  the  substance  qualified                                                                    
under the  medical marijuana statute  that had  been created                                                                    
by initiative.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Burkhart  replied that it  did not. She  emphasized that                                                                    
K2  was a  manmade product  that  was applied  to a  natural                                                                    
plant base.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:02:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  asked  whether there  had  been  any                                                                    
accounts of the substance  reaching rural Alaska and whether                                                                    
reports of  the impact of  the drug had been  statewide. Ms.                                                                    
Burkhart replied that the board  had only heard reports from                                                                    
urban  areas of  the state.  The board  was concerned  about                                                                    
extensive  reports of  abuse in  the  military. She  relayed                                                                    
that the  U.S. Army had  banned the substance and  had court                                                                    
marshaled  over one  dozen service  members  in Alaska.  The                                                                    
Navy had  also experienced the  same problem. The  board was                                                                    
concerned that  the drug might  infiltrate into  rural areas                                                                    
given  the  potential use  of  the  drug among  the  state's                                                                    
National Guardsmen.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Neuman asked whether  there were other common                                                                    
drugs or  substances with a similar  chemical structure that                                                                    
could be confused  with K2. Ms. Burkhart  responded that the                                                                    
chemicals  were  very  specific  formulas.  The  bill  would                                                                    
regulate five  very specific  chemical compositions.  Due to                                                                    
the specificity  of the bill,  products that may  be similar                                                                    
were not included.  The board appreciated that  the bill was                                                                    
tracking with  the temporary  federal regulation  enacted by                                                                    
the  Drug Enforcement  Agency and  was following  regulation                                                                    
planned by the  federal government and 13  other states. She                                                                    
believed that  a chemist could manufacture  a substance that                                                                    
was equally  exciting and harmful with  a different chemical                                                                    
composition that would not be controlled by the bill.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze closed public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Fairclough communicated  that  she  had a  young                                                                    
constituent who  had experienced an adverse  reaction to the                                                                    
drug that had  resulted in the girl's inability  to move and                                                                    
subsequently in an emergency room  visit. She was in support                                                                    
of the  bill and  wanted to  make certain  that it  was done                                                                    
correctly. She  believed that there  were only  two national                                                                    
labs that were able to test  for the drug. One lab did urine                                                                    
analysis  and the  other tested  blood.  She wondered  about                                                                    
economic   opportunity  and   whether  something   could  be                                                                    
marketed through SCDL for  other laboratories throughout the                                                                    
state  that  would help  fund  the  position and  provide  a                                                                    
safety net for Alaskans that  were having a violent reaction                                                                    
to the  drug. She  referenced the  fiscal note  and wondered                                                                    
whether  the state  could provide  an engine  to help  other                                                                    
states quantify people taking the  drug. She opined that the                                                                    
issue at  hand was one of  safety and hoped that  anyone who                                                                    
was having an  adverse reaction to the  drug would recognize                                                                    
what  was happening  immediately.  She  hoped that  officers                                                                    
would  ask  the appropriate  questions  to  identify that  a                                                                    
person's reaction  was different  than anticipated  and that                                                                    
medical treatment would be sought immediately.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough discussed  the corrected Department of                                                                    
Corrections (DOC) fiscal note #2  that had been changed from                                                                    
zero to almost  $200,000 per person. She  explained that the                                                                    
range listed on the fiscal note  was not very helpful to the                                                                    
committee. She  wondered whether  there was  someone present                                                                    
from the  department that could  speak to  the indeterminate                                                                    
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:08:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough asked  Representative Munoz to contact                                                                    
DOC regarding the fiscal note.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze clarified  that the  co-chair staff  would                                                                    
contact the department.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  agreed that the increased  fiscal note                                                                    
#2 was unclear and that they would communicate with DOC.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stoltze  noted   that  David   Teal,  Legislative                                                                    
Finance,  and  James   Armstrong,  staff  to  Representative                                                                    
Stoltze would also participate in  a discussion to determine                                                                    
the accuracy of the fiscal note.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello  pointed  out   that  some  of  the                                                                    
documentation referred  to the  substance as a  schedule IIA                                                                    
and in  other areas as a  schedule IIIA. She wanted  to make                                                                    
certain it was shown consistently as schedule IIIA.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz  clarified  that  the  bill  had  been                                                                    
amended   in  the   Judiciary   Committee   to  change   the                                                                    
classification of the substance from IIA to IIIA.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Kloster relayed  that  the fiscal  notes  would all  be                                                                    
updated to reference the schedule IIIA classification.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello  appreciated that  the  legislation                                                                    
had been  introduced. She emphasized  that the drug  had hit                                                                    
the streets of  Anchorage with a tenacity that  needed to be                                                                    
addressed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz  expressed  that  testimony  from  her                                                                    
community had  moved and motivated  her to help  address the                                                                    
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough moved  on to fiscal note  #3. The note                                                                    
had  a  $126,800 first  year  impact  that was  followed  by                                                                    
$106,600.  She wondered  whether  the  Department of  Public                                                                    
Safety  (DPS)  could  provide  clarity  on  the  appropriate                                                                    
testing  mechanism  for  the  product,  the  cost,  and  the                                                                    
expected turnaround time. Mr.  Dym responded that there were                                                                    
two tests  available. The first  was a toxicology  test that                                                                    
involved the  analysis of  blood or  urine. The  second test                                                                    
related to the analysis  of solid material possession cases.                                                                    
The  SCDL currently  had no  toxicology program  and testing                                                                    
was outsourced to the State  of Washington. A grant from the                                                                    
Alaska Highway  Safety Office paid  for the  sample testing.                                                                    
He explained  that Washington subcontracted the  work in the                                                                    
case  of synthetic  cannabinoids because  there were  only a                                                                    
few places that  were able to test for the  drug. The fiscal                                                                    
note related  to possession cases  and funded  the necessary                                                                    
workforce to handle the increased  number of submissions and                                                                    
to  ensure the  laboratory maintained  its rapid  turnaround                                                                    
time.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Fairclough   asked  for  clarification   on  the                                                                    
meaning of rapid turnaround time.  Mr. Dym replied that most                                                                    
drug cases moved to court from  the time of incident in less                                                                    
than 60  days and more  frequently in  45 days. The  lab was                                                                    
turning 68  percent of the drug  cases in less than  31 days                                                                    
and it worked to not exceed the 45-day to 50-day window.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough  appreciated the  excellent turnaround                                                                    
time. She  asked whether the  fiscal note  contained funding                                                                    
related  to  tests that  were  outsourced  to the  State  of                                                                    
Washington. Mr.  Dym replied  that the  fiscal note  did not                                                                    
include funding  related to  outsourced tests.  He explained                                                                    
that  all  driving  offenses  would  be  handled  under  the                                                                    
department's existing contract and grant money.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:14:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough asked whether  the 480 cases supported                                                                    
by the  fiscal note were  only related to  possession cases.                                                                    
Mr. Dym answered  in the affirmative. The lab  would be able                                                                    
to  handle   up  to  480   samples  before   increasing  the                                                                    
turnaround time.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough asked whether  the fiscal note focused                                                                    
only  on   distributors  and  did   not  cover   people  who                                                                    
experienced  adverse safety  implications. Mr.  Dym answered                                                                    
in  many  cases a  person  suspected  of driving  under  the                                                                    
influence  was also  in possession  of illegal  material. In                                                                    
such cases  an analysis was  conducted on a blood  sample to                                                                    
test for the  DUI and another analysis was  conducted on the                                                                    
substance.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Fairclough questioned  whether a  blood analysis                                                                    
for  alcohol would  identify  the presence  of  K2. Mr.  Dym                                                                    
replied that the  test would not identify  the substance. He                                                                    
added that when  alcohol was suspected and  the blood sample                                                                    
at  the lab  came  back  negative, the  lab  would send  the                                                                    
sample out for toxicology analysis.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough asked whether  local hospitals had the                                                                    
ability to  perform toxicology  testing that  would identify                                                                    
K2 in  the blood  of an  admitted patient.  Mr. Dym  did not                                                                    
know. He  doubted that  they would be  able to  identify the                                                                    
substance given the rarity of expertise on the material.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough recounted a  story about a young woman                                                                    
who had  been found unconscious.  It had only  been possible                                                                    
to determine  what was wrong  with the girl  because another                                                                    
youth came  forward with information about  a substance that                                                                    
they had  smoked that  they had  thought was  marijuana. She                                                                    
explained  that the  hospital had  run  toxicology tests  to                                                                    
identify the poison in the girl's bloodstream.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked   whether  the  substance  was                                                                    
routinely tested  for when  a person was  pulled over  for a                                                                    
DUI. She asked  whether a sample that was  sent for analysis                                                                    
would  automatically  be  tested  for  everything.  Mr.  Dym                                                                    
explained  that toxicology  samples were  initially screened                                                                    
for alcohol  and were then  passed on for  further analysis.                                                                    
An officer  or the prosecutor's  office could request  for a                                                                    
sample  to  undergo  additional toxicology  testing  when  a                                                                    
person suspected of impairment  tested negative for alcohol.                                                                    
He  noted  that  the  lab  had  just  received  their  first                                                                    
positive toxicology test.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked  what it would cost  to send all                                                                    
samples to  the State of Washington  for toxicology testing.                                                                    
Mr.  Dym   replied  that  the   fiscal  note   only  covered                                                                    
possession cases that  would go to SCDL.  The lab's contract                                                                    
covered up  to 520  requests per year  and it  believed that                                                                    
there was  enough room to  cover potential DUI  samples that                                                                    
could arise.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  pointed to Page 2,  Sections 7-16                                                                    
of the bill that described  various compounds. In Section 16                                                                    
the  bill discussed  ensuring  that  similar compounds  were                                                                    
included. He  communicated that the  bill appeared  to focus                                                                    
on  specific  definitions  and  also  included  language  to                                                                    
prevent  the exclusion  of  certain  products with  slightly                                                                    
altered  chemical  compositions.  He  wondered  whether  any                                                                    
other  products  could  potentially be  included  under  the                                                                    
description in the bill.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Dym  answered  that  the   bill  included  language  on                                                                    
geometric   or  positional   isomers.   He  explained   core                                                                    
components  had been  identified that  could be  modified by                                                                    
chemists.  Language about  positional isomers  took care  of                                                                    
most items that  could be similar. He  noted that explaining                                                                    
the  chemical  terms  and definitions  would  put  a  slight                                                                    
burden on the lab particularly  in court. He delineated that                                                                    
the  bill would  not cover  a new  drug but  it would  cover                                                                    
cases  in which  there  had been  rapidly modified  chemical                                                                    
tweaks.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  asked   whether  the  focus  was                                                                    
limited to  the particular  drug and  did not  include items                                                                    
that it  did not intend,  such as aspirin. Mr.  Dym believed                                                                    
that the language  in the bill was specific to  the class of                                                                    
synthetic  cannabinoids and  others that  were very  closely                                                                    
related.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Kloster  discussed  that   the  bill  updated  language                                                                    
related to schedule  III drugs that was  similar to existing                                                                    
language  for  schedule II  drugs.  She  discussed that  the                                                                    
removal of one molecule would  not have a significant effect                                                                    
on the substance.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  wanted to  make certain  that the                                                                    
bill did  not include a  substance that they did  not intend                                                                    
to make illegal.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Doogan  cited concern  about fiscal  note #4.                                                                    
He  discussed that  the drug  was probably  not produced  in                                                                    
Alaska, there was no test in  Alaska to determine use of the                                                                    
substance,  and only  one positive  test  had been  received                                                                    
from  an  outsourced lab.  He  did  not understand  how  the                                                                    
fiscal note could be $126,000 and  was not inclined to add a                                                                    
position given the  lack of evidence that there  was a need.                                                                    
He  explained that  a position  could always  be added  at a                                                                    
later time in the event that  the substance turned out to be                                                                    
widespread.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:25:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stoltze   remarked   that  there   would   be   a                                                                    
conversation with  his staff, the  Office of  Management and                                                                    
Budget  (OMB),  and the  sponsor  and  regarding the  fiscal                                                                    
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough hoped to  communicate that there was a                                                                    
harmful substance  in Alaska that  looked similar  to rolled                                                                    
marijuana  and that  people should  be  aware that  products                                                                    
were  labeled  controlled  substances   for  a  reason.  She                                                                    
relayed that  people should  be careful  and that  they were                                                                    
risking their lives by using the substance.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  wondered   whether  prosecutions  that                                                                    
would  occur  as  a  result of  the  legislation  should  be                                                                    
included in a  fiscal note from the  Public Defender Agency,                                                                    
DOL, or the Office of Public Advocacy.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  reported that DOL was  following the issue                                                                    
and that  there would be  a conversation with OMB  about the                                                                    
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB  7   was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee   for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 3 Explanation of Changes.doc HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 3
HB 3 State by State Analysis.doc HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2012 9:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 3
HB 3 Legal Opinion dated 012811.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Sponsor Statement.doc HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 3
HB7.supporting testimony.2.10.11.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB7.Support Letters.2.10.11.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB7.NCSL Research Report.10.5.10.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB7.Memo regarding changes to CS.2.11.11.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB7.Leg Research Report.Other states penalities.2.8.11.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB7.Article.K2 and Spice_Straight Tox.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB7.Article.DEA Press Release on Synthetic Materials.11.24.10.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB7.Article.ADN Article.Assembly outlaws chemical.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
CS HB 7 (JUD) Sponsor Statement.2.10.11.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 19 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 19
HB 19 Sample License Plates.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 19
HB 19 Legal Research.doc HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 19
HB 119 Sectional Analysis CS EDT.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/15/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 119
HB 119 AIDEA Bill Information Sheet and letter.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/15/2011 9:00:00 AM
HB 119
HB7CS(JUD)NEWFN-LAW-02-18-11.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB 7 Support Letter.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 7
HB3 ACLU Letter.pdf HFIN 2/22/2011 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/11/2012 9:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 3