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Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, 2 years ago a constituent of mine named David Rozga committed suicide shortly after smoking a product called K2--a synthetic form of marijuana.

A week before he passed away David had graduated from Indianola High School.

He was looking forward to attending my alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa, that fall.

David and his friends spent the week after graduation going to parties and celebrating their achievements.

Some of David's friends heard about K2 from some other friends who were home from college.

They were told that if you smoked this product like marijuana you could get a high.

David and his friends were about to go to a concert and thought smoking K2 before would be nothing but harmless fun.

However, shortly after smoking K2, David became highly agitated and terrified.

His friends tried to calm him down and once he appeared calmer he decided to go home instead of going out with them.

Tragically, David took his own life shortly after returning home--only about 90 minutes after smoking K2 for the first time.

The only chemicals in his system at the time of his death were those that comprised K2.

David's tragic death is one of the first in what has been a rapidly growing drug abuse trend.

In the past 2 years, the availability and popularity of synthetic drugs like K2, Spice, Bath Salts, and 2C-E has exploded.

These drugs are labeled and disguised as legitimate products to circumvent the law.

They are easily purchased online, at gas stations, in shopping malls and in other novelty stores.

Poison control centers and emergency rooms around the country are reporting skyrocketing cases of calls and visits resulting from synthetic drug use.

The physical effects associated with this use include increased agitation, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizures.

A number of people across the country have acted violently while under the influence of the drug, dying or injuring themselves and others.

Just a few weeks ago a man in Miami, Florida attacked a homeless man and ate nearly half his face before police had to shoot him to stop him.

Two weeks ago, police in upstate New York tazered a woman who was choking her 3-year-old son after smoking bath salts.

These ongoing and mounting tragedies underscore the fact that Congress must take action to stop these drugs from causing further damage to our society.

I introduced the David Mitchell Rozga Act a year ago last March to ban the drugs that comprised K2.

My colleagues Senators SCHUMER, KLOBUCHAR, and PORTMAN have also joined me to ban synthetic drugs including bath salts and 2-CE compounds.

Today our separate bills are included as part of the House and Senate agreement on the FDA User Fee bill we will be voting on shortly.

I thank all who have worked very hard to get my bill, as well as the other bills banning synthetic drugs, through Congress.

I especially want to thank Mike and Jan Rozga and their family for their tireless efforts to prevent more tragedy from befalling other families.

This legislation will drastically help to remove these poisons from the store shelves and protect our children from becoming more victims. I urge my colleagues to support cloture on this bill.

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