Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today after signing HB1941 which adds several new compounds to the list of items defined as synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic stimulants.
Speaking about the legislation, the Governor said, "Illegal drugs continue to infect our communities. Drug dealers continue to break the laws and peddle their illegal products and poisons into our communities. The legislation signed today continues Virginia's commitment to combating the spread of illegal drugs in the Commonwealth and preserving the safety of our schools and neighborhoods and builds on legislative efforts earlier in my Administration to combat drugs and punish drug dealers.
"First identified in Virginia in 2010, synthetic cannabinoids and bath salts have emerged as extremely dangerous drugs presenting serious risks for the law enforcement and the health care community. Although first criminalized by the 2011 General Assembly, manufacturers and sellers continue to develop and market chemical variations outside the list of prohibited substances. This has challenged state lawmakers to stay current with the continually emerging chemical variations of these substances that appear in the marketplace. With the enactment of HB 1941, Virginia now bans nine classes of cannabimimetic agents, including 26 specific synthetic cannabinoids and 41 specified research chemical compounds.
"For those reasons, I am honored to sign HB1941, patroned by Delegate Scott Garrett, to build upon previous legislation to provide law enforcement officials the necessary tools to better combat the distribution of these drugs. Since the conclusion of the 2013 General Assembly Session, the Department of Forensic Science and law enforcement officials have worked together to identify five additional chemicals recently detected in evidence. To account for this recent development, I will be requesting amendments for SB1083, patroned by Senator Mark Herring, to include these new chemicals to the list of prohibited under the Code of Virginia."
Speaking about HBV1941, Delegate Scott Garrett said, "This legislation will help keep Virginians safe from these dangerous chemicals that are designed to profit at the expense of our children. It was an honor to carry to this legislation, and I am grateful that the Governor signed it into law."