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Senator Coons Votes to Send "Bath Salts" Ban to President for Signature

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) today joined his Senate colleagues in approving bipartisan legislation containing a ban on dangerous synthetic drugs, including "bath salts." Today's vote on the House-Senate conference report on the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, sends the legislation to President Obama to be signed into law. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, Senator Coons has been a leader in fighting to make these new designer drugs illegal to prevent crimes and keep Delaware safe.

"Keeping our streets safe means staying one step ahead of the criminals, and that is what we have done today," Senator Coons said following final passage of the ban. "Dangerous chemicals are being used to create synthetic drugs, like bath salts, that are having a devastating effect on our communities. Making these new drugs illegal is the first step in giving our law enforcement officers the tools they need to combat this growing new challenge to public safety."

The ban passed by the Senate today was included as part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, and would make the sale of the chemical compounds found in bath salts and synthetic marijuana illegal in the United States. The titles dealing with synthetic drugs in the legislation passed today incorporate provisions from three previous bills Senator Coons has cosponsored, the Combating Dangerous Synthetic Stimulants Act of 2011, the Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011, and the Combating Designer Drugs Act of 2011. Included among the list of targeted compounds are MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and mephedrone, the active ingredients in "bath salts." According to numerous reports, the chemicals found in these drugs cause effects similar to those caused by cocaine and Methamphetamines, including hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts.

The House and Senate had previously passed differing versions of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, necessitating the convening of a conference committee to work out the differences. Today's vote on the conference committee's report was the last step before the bill can be signed into law.

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