South Bend can now fine synthetic marijuana sellers

Officials in northern Indiana have voted to make dealing synthetic marijuana an offense finable of up to $2,500.

The South Bend Tribune reports that South Bend has a list of behaviors that can qualify a local property as a “disorderly house.” The list now includes dealing the synthetic drug, thanks to a unanimous vote Monday by the South Bend Common Council.

The change allows the city to fine property owners between $250 and $2,500.

Police chief Scott Ruszkowski says the designation gives South Bend a new way to address the drug issue before escalating to a more drastic criminal process.

Indiana lawmakers banned a type of the synthetic drug in 2011. But new forms are created that are different enough in formula that they’re treated differently legally.

Synthetic marijuana is typically leafy material meant to resemble marijuana that’s sprayed with chemicals.