Governor Steve Beshear today ceremonially signed into law House Bill 8, adding new substances to the definitions of banned synthetic drugs and controlled substances.
The law, passed during the 2013 legislative session, helps the legal system stay one step ahead of underground chemists who tweak the formulas of prohibited drugs in an attempt to keep them legal.
In 2012, the General Assembly passed legislation allowing newly discovered synthetic drugs to be classified as Schedule 1 through the administrative regulation process. House Bill 8 codified the drugs identified through that process.
"Synthetic drugs pose a tremendous risk to our communities, mainly because they are often marketed as harmless household products," Gov. Beshear said. "By clearly identifying these substances in the law, we can educate Kentuckians about the dangers posed by these drugs."
The law also added synthetic drug activity within the offense of unlawful transaction with a minor in the second degree, and modified the time periods during which certain methamphetamine offenders are prohibited from purchasing ephedrine-based products.
"Our partners in law enforcement continue to discover new synthetics and dangerous, experimental chemical compounds being created and abused, threatening Kentucky families," said Sen. Whitney Westerfield. "However, we remain vigilant for necessary changes to the law to protect against these substances. Chairman Tilley's House Bill 8 is the latest effort on this front, and I was glad to play a role in moving it through the Senate. As the landscape changes we must continue to fight substance abuse with adequate laws and resources to stop those responsible and help those in need."
"Effective synthetic drug policy demands a quick response to deadly changes in formula. That's what this latest bill represents," said Rep. John Tilley, of Hopkinsville, sponsor of the bill. "Thankfully, our law allows us to stay one step ahead, which saves lives."