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Congress Approves Synthetic Drug Ban

Congress took final steps Tuesday to ban 26 chemicals used to make dangerous synthetic drugs known as  “K2” or “Spice,” and  “Bath Salts.”  They’re synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of marijuana.  They’re sold under various brand names in gas stations, shopping malls and online often as “herbal essence” or “plant food.”

The drugs have been readily available, but they have dangerous consequences with physical effects including hallucinations, violent behavior, increased agitation and paranoia.

According to data from a 2011 White House Office of National Drug Control Policy survey, synthetic marijuana is the second most commonly used illicit drugs among 12th graders.  11.4 percent of seniors admitted using Spice or K2 in the past year.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers says “the number of calls related to ‘bath salt’ exposure by centers across the country increased by more than 20 times in 2011 alone.”

The new ban is part of a Food and Drug Administration bill that is now headed to the President’s desk.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa introduced the legislation in 2011 after the suicide of one of his constituents.

David Rozga was only 18 years old when he died in 2010.  He had just graduated from high school in Indianola, Iowa.  He and his friends purchased K-2 at a mall.  After smoking the synthetic marijuana he reportedly became hyper and agitated.  He returned home and shot himself.

More recently, a man in Miami, Florida attacked a homeless man and ate nearly half his face until police stopped him by shooting him to death. It’s believed he was under the influence of bath salts at the time

“This ban can’t come quickly enough,” Senator Grassley said after the Senate passed the bill.  “Just about every day, there’s a new tragedy related to K2 or bath salts. The sooner this poison is off the store shelves, the better. I hope the President will sign this measure into law very quickly.”

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Category: Policy

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