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Two public safety bills — House Bill 1037 and Senate Bill 176, both signed into law earlier this year — will go into effect in Colorado on Wednesday.
HB 1037, sponsored by state Rep. Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, will subject vendors selling synthetic cannabinoids, frequently referred to as Spice, to fines and civil liability regardless of warnings on the packaging.
Earlier this year, a Denver store owner was charged with selling the synthetic drug and reportedly had 1,320 packages of “Spice,” estimated to have a street value of $120,000, seized from the store.
“Despite their growing popularity, synthetic drugs are incredibly dangerous and this new law is a crucial step in taking action against these harmful substances,” Landgraf said. “I’m comforted knowing this law is now in place to help keep synthetic drugs out of Colorado children’s hands.”
SB 176, sponsored in the House by Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock, will make operating a vehicle chop shop a class-4 felony.
Senate Bill 176 addresses the increasing number of automobile thefts in Colorado, which has spiked in recent years. In 2012, there were over 3,000 unrecovered stolen cars and 11 organized chops shops discovered in Colorado, according to CHR.
“Though stealing a vehicle can already be prosecuted, this new law will give prosecutors the tools they need to go after the criminals running the chop shops in Colorado,” said Murray. “Organized chop shops are responsible for a significant amount of automobile theft and I am confident this law will help put this criminal enterprise out of business in Colorado.”
Both bills, which both received wide bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, address two growing problems in Colorado, according to Colorado House Republicans.