Legislature(2011 - 2012)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/25/2011 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SCS CSHB 7(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 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, [2011] 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                                                               
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                                                               
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                                                               
          (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                                                               
MR. LUCKHAUPT directed attention to page 2, line 3.                                                                             
          (B) 25 or more tablets, ampules, or syrettes                                                                          
          containing a schedule IIIA or IVA controlled                                                                          
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                                                               
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.                                                                                                   

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