After weeks of news coverage highlighting the danger posed by synthetic drugs like synthetic marijuana, bath salts, and 2C-E, U.S. Senator Rob Portman's (R-Ohio) measure to fight synthetic drug abuse was included in the final version of the FDA bill that passed the Senate today. The legislation now goes to the President's desk for his signature.
"Widely available and easy to purchase synthetic drugs have taken a dangerous toll on American families and communities. My amendment to ban these drugs at the federal level will better enable federal and state authorities to combat this growing epidemic," Senator Portman said. "Synthetic drugs are blinding some to the point where they lose sight of their own humanity, spurring reckless, horrific acts across the country. By banning these substances at the federal level and authorizing the DEA to pursue the manufacturers of these drugs across state lines, passage of this measure is an important step in reversing this streak of devastating crimes."
In May, two Ohio men high on bath salts were shot by Columbus police as they tried to restrain their aggressive, violent behavior. In other recent cases of violence due to synthetic drug abuse, a man in Miami recently stripped himself of his clothes and tore into a helpless stranger's face, a Baltimore man ate a fellow student's heart and brain, a mother high on the drugs abused her young child in New York, and a Waco, Texas man ate his family dog.
In May 2012, Portman introduced legislation that changes the Controlled Substances Act to include synthetic drugs, an important step in combating the growing epidemic of designer drug abuse. Synthetic drugs, which are chemically produced in laboratories and cause unpredictable side effects in humans, have dramatically increased in usage over the last three years. Adding these drugs to the Controlled Substances Act is the first step in making these drugs illegal and cracking down on those involved in synthetic drug production and distribution. The amendment is based on S.3190, the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012.