Press Releases

June 20, 2012

House Passes Bill to Ban Synthetic Drugs

Consensus legislation is likely to be signed into law.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed S. 3187 (the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act), legislation that includes provisions to ban various compounds used to make synthetic drugs like K2, Spice and ‘bath salts’. The bill, a product of bipartisan and bicameral compromise, bans most substances included in synthetic drug legislation (H.R. 1254) authored by U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15). It also contains provisions identical to those in H.R. 1254 that will double the amount of time that DEA may temporarily control a new substance while working to prove that the drug in question should be banned permanently. This additional time will enhance DEA’s ability to combat new and emerging substances.

“The House passage of S. 3187 is a major accomplishment in the fight to remove dangerous synthetic drugs from our communities,” said Rep. Dent. “I am extremely pleased overwhelming bipartisan and bicameral support ensured provisions similar to those in H.R. 1254 were included in the FDA package passed by the House today.”

H.R. 1254 (the Synthetic Drug Control Act), which identifies and bans chemical compounds that mimic the affects of marijuana, cocaine, and other hard street drugs on the human brain, was introduced by Rep. Dent on March 30, 2011. The bill passed the House on December 8, 2011 with broad bipartisan support.

“Since he first introduced his bill in March 2011, Congressman Charlie Dent has worked tirelessly to raise awareness among his colleagues in Congress of the dangers of synthetic drug abuse in our communities and the urgent need to ban these harmful substances,” said Rep. Fred Upton (MI-6), Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. “The strong bipartisan support Congressman Dent's H.R. 1254 earned when it passed the House last December helped ensure a ban on certain synthetic drug components was included in the FDA reform package. Folks from the Lehigh Valley and across the nation will be safer for Charlie Dent's dedication.”

After being modified by the House, S. 3187 now returns to the Senate, where it is expected to garner near-unanimous bipartisan support. Following passage in the Senate, the bill will be sent to the President to be signed into law.

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