Appearing with Barre Mayor Thomas Lauzon, as well police chiefs from throughout the region, Gov. Peter Shumlin announced a ban on 86 new dangerous designer drugs, outlined the plan for taking additional steps to halt the sale and use of these so-called "bath salt' drugs, and called on local shops to stop selling these potentially lethal products.
"These drugs might have the innocent-sounding names like bath salts, but this junk can kill," the Governor said, noting that synthetic stimulants can cause hallucinations, violence, paranoia, seizures, psychosis, and even death. These drugs also have the potential to be addictive.
"Anyone who makes or sells this stuff, whether it's listed yet as illegal or not, knows exactly what they are doing. They are willing to put Vermonters lives at great risk for a profit," Gov. Shumlin added. "We call on the manufacturers and retailers to stop making and selling these dangerous synthetic drugs now."
Human Services Secretary Doug Racine signed an emergency rule today banning 86 new substances, but pointed out the manufacturers have already found new substances to add that are not included on the list. The Shumlin administration's Health Department is working on a broader new rule that would ban these types of drugs, in addition to specific chemicals listed by name.
"It's critical that our laws stay ahead of the manufacturers, who keep altering chemical composition of synthetic drugs to skirt the law," said Racine.
The rule signed today makes these 86 new drugs illegal to use, sell, possess or manufacture. It includes 32 new "bath salts" or synthetic stimulant-type drugs, nine synthetic mescalines, and 45 synthetic new cannabinoids -- or "fake marijuana."
Joining the Governor for the emergency rule signing in Barre were Barre Mayor Thomas Lauzon, the police chiefs from several Central Vermont communities, Dr. Mark Depman, who heads the Central Vermont Medical Center's Emergency Room, and others who are committed to keeping these drugs out of the state's communities.
The Shumlin administration signed its first emergency rule to outlaw bath salts one year ago. At that time, Vermont did not have a serious problem with the drug, but wanted to get out ahead of what was already happening in Maine, New Hampshire and elsewhere in the country. Since that action, more and slightly different compounds have been created and are being sold. Other states, including New York, have also moved in recent months to crack down on compounds.