During his weekly video address, Senator Chuck Grassley discusses his bill targeting synthetic drugs. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, on July 28, and would ban chemicals used to make drugs like K2, also known as Spice. Grassley’s legislation is named after David Rogza of Indianola, Iowa, whose death may have been the first in the nation related to K2.
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The text of the address is available below.
Weekly Video Address: Synthetic Drug Bill
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed my bipartisan legislation to ban chemicals used to make synthetic drugs like K2, or Spice.
A year ago in June, K2 led an 18-year old from Indianola to take his own life. David Rozga’s death may have been the first in the country stemming from a new type of synthetic drug. I met with David’s family last August, and David’s dad traveled to Washington to testify in April at a drug caucus hearing which I co-chaired.
David’s death hasn’t been the last. In January, a high-school student in Omaha killed his assistant principal and himself. He had K2 in his system.
Poison-control centers and emergency rooms are reporting skyrocketing cases resulting from K2 use. Violent injuries are seen, related to K2 increasing agitation, heart rates and blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizures. K2 abuse has even led all branches of the military to ban the use of the synthetic drug after high profile cases arose at the Naval Academy and on the U.S.S. Bataan which was deploying to Libya.
The drug is available at local shopping malls and online. It’s marketed to appear natural and harmless, like a package of incense. Victims like David Rozga get sucked into trying the drug, unaware of the risks.
Federal legislation is needed because the Drug Enforcement Agency’s process of banning drugs is slow, with no guarantee of a permanent ban. The proposed bill – which I named the David Mitchell Rozga Act -- would treat K2 like banned narcotics such as methamphetamine and cocaine.
The Senate should act to ban this drug as soon as possible.