8 June 2016
The report goes on to say
“It is clear the traffickers are continuing to outpace us,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The hearing focused on the problem of trafficking of synthetic drugs, which are designed to mimic certain illegal drugs, but aren’t captured or covered by federal drug laws.
“These mimic controlled substances such as marijuana, PCP, and that’s bad news,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the committee’s ranking member.
A 2011 law placed a series of synthetic cannaboids, which mimic marijuana, on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and gave the Drug Enforcement Administration power to temporarily schedule certain synthetics. Other Schedule I drugs include marijuana, heroin and ecstasy.
Previously, synethetic cannaboids were on a lower schedule and could be distributed, and the change helped reduce trafficking in these substances. “Calls to poison control centers [due to synthetic drugs] began to level off or decline for a time,” Grassley said.
However, such calls have increased in recent years as new synthetic drugs were created. Grassley said that calls rose from 2,600 in 2013 to almost 8,000 in 2015. “This is a difficult problem and doesn’t have an easy answer,” he said.
Congress is working on comprehensive legislation to combat opioid and heroin abuse, and both the House and Senate have passed legislation that needs to now be reconciled at a conference.
Deadly Synthetic Drugs: The Need to Stay Ahead of the Poison Peddlers
Senate Judiciary Committee
Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Dirksen Senate Office Building 226
Presiding: Chairman Grassley
Link for member statements & witnesses and video of testimonies