Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has stepped up the fight against synthetic drugs by signing emergency regulations banning newly identified forms of synthetic marijuana.
Beshear's action Tuesday is the first time an administrative regulation has been used to outlaw synthetic substances, which mimic the effects of cocaine, marijuana and other illegal stimulants.
In the past, Kentucky lawmakers have passed laws banning drugs known as "bath salts" and synthetic marijuana.
The governor says his regulation will allow the state to keep pace with "backyard chemists" who try to skirt the law by slightly altering formulas of such dangerous substances.
Beshear's action stems from passage of legislation this year that broadened the scope of banned substances to include entire classes of synthetic drugs, not just compounds.