Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today urged the passage of bipartisan provisions that would ban dangerous synthetic drugs. In a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Klobuchar called on her Senate colleagues to pass tomorrow an amendment that contains Klobuchar’s legislation outlawing harmful synthetic substances such as 2C-E, which led to the death of a Minnesota teenager and hospitalized several others. The amendment also includes provisions similar to two additional bills 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.“We must pass this amendment now to give law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on synthetic drugs before they put more lives in danger.”
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 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 being considered in the Senate tomorrow.
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.