Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today announced that an amendment including Klobuchar’s bipartisan legislation to ban dangerous synthetic drugs has passed the Senate. Klobuchar’s provisions outlawing harmful synthetic substances such as 2C-E, which led to the death of a Minnesota teenager and hospitalized several others, are now part of a larger bill expected to pass the Senate today. The amendment also includes legislation Klobuchar has cosponsored banning harmful chemicals commonly found in bath salts and synthetic marijuana.
“These new designer drugs can kill. And if we don’t take action, they are going to become more and more prevalent, and put more and more people at risk,” Klobuchar said.“Today’s action is good news for this critical legislation to give law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on synthetic drugs before they put more lives in danger, and I will continue to work to ensure these provisions are signed into law.”
Klobuchar, along with Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Charles Schumer (D-NY), has been a leader in the effort to ban harmful chemicals in synthetic drugs that have taken lives and injured many others. Klobuchar’s legislation, the Combating Designer Drugs Act of 2011, bans the substance known as 2C-E, a synthetic hallucinogen, and eight other similar substances. Klobuchar has also cosponsored legislation introduced by Senator Grassley which makes illegal certain chemicals found in synthetic marijuana, often referred to as “K2” or “Spice,” as well as a bill introduced by Senator Schumer that bans the sale of harmful synthetic drugs that are being sold and marketed as “bath salts” and have a similar effect on the body as cocaine and methamphetamine. All three of these bills are included in an amendment to the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, which is expected to pass the Senate today.
In September of last year, Klobuchar hosted a roundtable on synthetic drugs with U.S. Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske and Minnesota law enforcement leaders. The discussion focused on efforts to curb the sale and use of dangerous synthetic drugs and highlighted how federal, state, and local leaders can work together to solve the problem. The following week, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced its decision to ban three chemicals commonly found in synthetic drugs known as bath salts.
Klobuchar is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, which has jurisdiction over issues relating to drug control policy, and she has been a leader in strengthening drug safety standards to protect consumers.