Synthetic Marijuana is Banned in Kansas

Kansas is now the first state in the nation to ban the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana.

Gov. Mark Parkinson on Wednesday signed legislation outlawing the substance, which is sold commercially under the brand name K2. It contains chemicals which act on the brain like marijuana.

Johnson County police told lawmakers that the product is increasingly being found in local high schools. Missouri and other states are considering similar legislation.

In other legislative action, a committee reviewed legislation that could lead to better insurance for children with autism spectrum disorders.

Parents of children with those disorders long have lobbied lawmakers to require insurance coverage for behavioral therapy. The legislation calls for testing the idea on a small scale: the state’s own employee health plan.

The bill, SB 554, would require the state health plan to cover therapies such as applied behavior analysis, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year. Most insurers refuse to cover it.

By testing the mandate on the state plan, lawmakers would be able to gauge its costs and benefits, supporters told the committee.

The state’s insurance lobby, however, argues that mandating coverage would drive up premiums for all policyholders.

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