Synthetic drug ban bill is necessary PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 19 December 2011 16:18
Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is the author of legislation pending before the Senate to ban the chemicals used to make the dangerous drug known as “K2” or “Spice.” As Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, Grassley advanced the legislation, named for a young Iowa man who took his own life after using the drug.  A fellow senator is objecting to Senate consideration of the legislation.  Grassley made the following comment on the legislation.

“A new survey out this week showed one in nine high school seniors reported using synthetic drugs last year.  That’s terrible news.  These drugs are toxic and dangerous.  They caused a young Iowan to take his life.  Other deaths around the country are directly linked to synthetic drugs.  Their availability at the local mall or online does not make them safe.  Just because you can buy something in a shiny package with a cute name does not mean safety is assured.  Cynical manufacturers and sellers peddle these products either not knowing or not caring about their content or effects.

“The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has banned some of the chemicals used to make these drugs, but the ban is limited and temporary.  Congress needs to act to impose a permanent ban.  State bans aren’t enough.  What’s passed in one state might be different than what’s passed in another state, so kids can go across the river to another state to find the drugs.  Many of the chemicals in these drugs are imported, especially from China.  States are very limited in capturing the drugs at U.S. ports of entry.

“One argument against a federal ban is that manufacturers constantly come up with new compounds to skirt the ban.  My colleagues and I have worked with the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration to broaden the language to capture more than 400 compounds that could possibly be created from the ones currently identified.  Although more compounds could be created in the future, the Controlled Substances Act allows for the prosecution of analogs to federally banned drugs, which can help land more prosecutions. The bill also increases the length of time the Drug Enforcement Administration has to temporarily ban any forthcoming dangerous drugs, including synthetics. This will be an effective tool against future compounds.

“Parents want this legislation.  Law enforcement wants this legislation.  Poison control centers want this legislation.  There’s no compelling reason against it and every reason for it.”

More information on Grassley’s legislation is available here.

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