DEA Bans Designer Drugs Known as Bath Salts; U.S. Senators from CT and ME Fight for Improved Local and Federal Enforcement

Posted by erik devaney

The DEA recently took emergency action and put a temporary, federal ban on bath salts.

Marketed under names including “Bliss,” “Vanilla Sky,” and “Purple Wave,” bath salts are designer drugs that contain one – or more – of the following synthetic stimulants: mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone.

Users of bath salts typically swallow, snort or inject the drugs and can experience effects including disorientation, paranoia and impaired perception and motor control. The drugs, which are especially popular amongst teenagers, are sold at convenience stores, gas stations, tobacco shops and online.

Under the new temporary ban, the chemicals that comprise bath salts are on the DEA’s schedule I list of controlled substances, and will be for at least one year.

Senator Blumenthal

“I applaud the DEA’s decision to proactively address the recent explosion of synthetic drug production, distribution, and use by temporarily adding these chemicals to the list of scheduled substances,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in a recent statement. “The spread of these dangerous drugs calls for a comprehensive response from legislators, regulators, and law enforcement.”

In order to instigate that “comprehensive response,” Blumenthal introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill with Senator Olympia Snow (R-ME). The amendment seeks to better coordinate federal law enforcement and resources with state and local agencies in responding to the rapidly growing synthetic drug problem.

Senator Snowe

“…the problems we are witnessing on the ground in Maine and the challenges facing local law enforcement when it comes to combating the spread of these substances requires a comprehensive strategy at all levels of the government,” said Senator Snow. “We cannot afford to wait any longer in providing information and resources essential to stemming the rampant abuse of synthetic drugs in this state.”

The amendment introduced by Senators Blumenthal and Snow would require the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Attorney General of the United States to report to Congress on a comprehensive strategy for partnering with local law enforcement to target the spread of synthetic drugs.

This strategy, according to the senators form Connecticut and Maine, should include the following measures:

  1. Conducting public awareness campaigns, partnering with local law enforcement officials, hospitals, and schools to educate parents and young people about the dangers of abusing synthetic drugs like bath salts;
  2. Addressing the rampant abuse and ease of access of these substances in rural communities, where such problems can multiply quickly while attention is placed on larger population centers;
  3. Utilizing the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program to provide additional assistance to law enforcement agencies operating in areas experiencing high levels of synthetic drug trafficking;
  4. Improving coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to seize shipments of synthetic drugs;
  5. Developing and distributing test kits so that local law enforcement can better identify dangerous individuals under the influence of substances like MDPV and mephedrone in the field; and
  6. Using existing authority under the Federal Analog Act to treat these drugs as controlled substances for the purposes of pursuing law enforcement actions against traffickers.

Related posts:

  1. Maine Medical Marijuana Laws at Odds with Federal Laws; Local Police Unsure how to Deal with Stolen Plants
  2. Debate Continues Over RI Law Allowing In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants; Federal Prosecutor Refuses to Offer Legal Opinion
  3. Boston Police Commissioner: Communication Between States and Fed. Gov’t Hasn’t Improved Since 9/11
  4. Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants a Hot Topic in New England; Would Issuing Such Licenses be Breaking Federal Law?
  5. Vt. Senators Urge Quick Action On Disaster Money

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Posted by erik devaney on Oct 27 2011. Filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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