WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) joined House colleagues Jim Himes (CT-4) and Lou Barletta (PA-11) in introducing H.R. 1732, the Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2017, which would address the dangerous use of synthetic drugs by blocking the sale of the deadly compounds that are used to develop those drugs.
“The devastation that synthetic substances and drugs have caused in my district and across the country is heartbreaking. Protecting our communities from these unnatural compounds has been a longstanding priority, and the Synthetic Drug Control Act will ensure that the dangers posed by these drugs are properly acknowledged and addressed,” Dent said. “As demonstrated by the horrific flakka killing in Bethlehem last year, and by many other incidents of overdoses, synthetic drugs are a public safety threat and should be kept off the streets. This bill will restrict the sale and spread of these lab-produced substances and aid law enforcement in their ongoing work to keep our communities safe.”
Currently, these substances are marketed as innocent products like bath salts, plant food, or incense, and they are sold under brand names familiar to their users, such as K2 or Spice. The fact that these drugs are not illegal contributes to the misconception that they are safe.
If enacted, H.R. 1732 would require the U.S. Attorney General to classify approximately 250 dangerous synthetic substances under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Schedule I substances, drugs, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, such as heroin and LSD. The ban would prohibit the sale of these drugs in brick and mortar stores and online.
“I am proud to have worked with my friend, Charlie Dent, on this strong, bipartisan legislation,” Representative Jim Himes (CT-4) added. “Communities across the nation are being torn apart by the opioid epidemic and other drug-related crises. Synthetic drugs, which include variations of the extremely dangerous opioid fentanyl, are exacerbating an already out of control problem. This bill bans some of the worst synthetic drugs, which are nothing more than unregulated poison masquerading as a harmless high and marketed toward young people.”
“Protecting our loved ones and our communities from the harmful, and in many cases deadly, abuse of these synthetic substances will require a bipartisan coalition,” Dent concluded. “I’m proud to join Representatives Himes and Barletta in sponsoring this bill, and I truly believe this is a great next step to combat synthetic drugs in our communities.”