WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its support of Klobuchar’s legislation to ban the dangerous synthetic drug 2C-E, which has led to the death of one Minnesotan as well as the hospitalization of several others. The DOJ also backed two additional bills Klobuchar has cosponsored banning bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

“Synthetic drugs are taking lives and tearing apart families in Minnesota and across the country, but right now many of these dangerous substances can still be purchased legally,” said Klobuchar. “We must take swift action to give prosecutors and law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on synthetic drugs and keep our communities safe, and having the DOJ’s support of this critical legislation is an important step in moving this effort forward.”

Klobuchar, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have led the bipartisan effort in the U.S. Senate to ban harmful chemicals in synthetic drugs that have taken lives – including the life of a Minnesotan – and injured many others.

The new legislation, Combating Designer Drugs Act of 2011, bans the substance known as 2C-E, a synthetic hallucinogen, and eight other similar substances. Klobuchar introduced the legislation this past March after a Minnesota teenager died and ten others were hospitalized due to an overdose of 2C-E.

In September, 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.