Legislature(2011 - 2012)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)
03/25/2011 01:30 PM JUDICIARY
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HB 7-SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS 2:27:41 PM CHAIR FRENCH announced the consideration of HB 7 and asked for a motion to adopt the work draft committee substitute (CS). 2:28:18 PM SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI moved to adopt SCS for CSHB 7, labeled 27- LS0044\R, as the working document. SENATOR COGHILL objected for discussion purposes. JERRY LUCKHAUPT, Assistant Revisor of Statutes, Legislative Legal Services, Legislative Affairs Agency, informed the committee that the CS steps down the possession limits for synthetic THCs that are added to organic materials. Possession of more than 12 grams remains a class C felony, basically reflecting the intent to distribute. Possession of more than six grams but less than 12 grams is a class A misdemeanor. Possession of 6 grams or less is a class B misdemeanor, which is the same as for marijuana. He noted that he was also directed to establish an effective date of July 1,  and to ensure that a juvenile age 16 and under would not automatically be waived into adult court for any of these violations. The only way a juvenile could be waived into adult court would be if he or she sold synthetic THC to a person who was at least 3 years younger. That would be an unclassified felony and would result in automatic waiver to adult court. 2:30:49 PM CHAIR FRENCH asked him to explain the result of the changes on page 2, lines 7-13. MR. LUCKHAUPT explained that the first change provides an exception to the three-gram provision if a person possesses 12 grams or more of a schedule IIIA controlled substance listed under the new synthetic THCs that has been sprayed on or otherwise applied to tobacco, an herb, or another organic material. SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if this is 12 grams of the sprayed substance or 12 grams of the overall substance. MR. LUCKHAUPT replied it applies to 12 grams of the aggregate material. CHAIR FRENCH confirmed that the provision reads 12 grams or more of the tobacco or herb. He read page 2, lines 10-13 into the record: (ii) 12 grams or more containing a schedule IIIA controlled substance listed in AS 11.71.160(f)(7)-(16) that has been sprayed on or otherwise applied to tobacco, an herb, or another organic material; MR. LUCKHAUPT said he was instructed to use an amount equivalent to four of the three-gram packets that can be purchased over the counter. That same exception is on page 3, line 28-29, but in this section the quantity is "12 grams but more than six grams" meaning that it's between two and four packets. It's the same aggregate weight amount with the same conditions for application. The previous version of the bill set the limit at three grams or less and provided that it was a class A misdemeanor. The same concept applies to page 4, lines 23-25. In this section, possession of six grams or less will be a class B misdemeanor. That same penalty is provided for public use or display of marijuana or possession of less than one ounce. 2:35:20 PM CHAIR FRENCH asked for an explanation of the language on page 4, line 29 through page 5, line 3. MR. LUCKHAUPT replied the ten new substances are classified in that provision; it's the same as the original bill. Finally, page 6, line 2, has the July 1, 2011 effective date. CHAIR FRENCH asked where the bill deals with possession of the chemical by itself, without it having been applied to an organic material. MR. LUCKHAUPT directed attention to page 2, line 3. (B) 25 or more tablets, ampules, or syrettes containing a schedule IIIA or IVA controlled substance; CHAIR FRENCH asked if the chemical comes in the form of tablets, ampules, or syrettes. MR. LUCKHAUPT replied it can be in either liquid or solid form. CHAIR FRENCH asked what level crime is it to possess a gram of the pure chemical. MR. LUCKHAUPT replied that's a class A misdemeanor. He added that that he addressed the possession limits as a number or by gram weight depending on what form the drug is in. The number concept is used in subparagraph (B) on page 2, lines 3-4, where it addresses 25 or more tablets, ampules, or syrettes. The gram concept is used under (i) if there's three grams or more of the pure chemical. 2:38:10 PM CHAIR FRENCH reminded the committee that public testimony was closed and noted that Douglas Moody from the Public Defender Agency and Orin Dym from the Alaska crime lab were online to answer questions. SENATOR PASKVAN asked how the lab can differentiate between one of the ten substances listed on page 5 compared to a minute derivation. ORIN DYM, Forensic Laboratory Manager, Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, Department of Public Safety (DPS), assured the committee that the laboratory has the instrumentation to uniquely identify the listed substances. CHAIR FRENCH removed his objection to adopting the CS and version R was before the committee. He noted a title change concurrent resolution will accompany the bill. 2:40:15 PM SENATOR PASKVAN moved to report Senate CS for CS for House Bill 7 from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). SENATOR PASKVAN moved to pass the title change concurrent resolution for HB 7, labeled 27-LS0709\A, from committee. 2:41:10 PM SENATOR COGHILL stated that he had no objection. CHAIR FRENCH announced that without objection, SCS CSHB 7(JUD) and accompanying title change resolution moved from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.