Senator Glenn Anderson Applauds Action on Legislation to Address Synthetic Drugs
LANSING”A great deal of coverage has been in the media as of late due to a number of very high profile crimes that are believed to be connected to synthetic drugs such as K-2, Spice or Bath Salts. Today, two bills of a four bill package addressing these drugs passed out of committee in the House. The following information is to provide an update on legislative action to deal with this growing problem in our state.
The House Judiciary committee voted out legislation today that would take new steps to remove synthetic drugs from sale in stores and try to address a disturbing trend among designer drug manufacturers to slightly alter the chemical make-up of their products to outpace Michigan law. The frequent changing of the formula in these products has presented a challenge to law enforcement in removing these products. Senator Anderson supported this legislation when it came before the Senate and applauded swift passage out of the House Judiciary Committee.
“The abuse of these designer drugs presents a serious and present threat to our communities and, most often, to our young people,” Anderson said. “Little is known about the long-term effects of these drugs, but what is known is that they can be extremely dangerous and should be illegal in the same way that other Schedule I drugs are illegal.”
Senate Bill 1082 would list classifications of chemicals to prevent companies from slightly altering their product to avoid bans imposed by the Legislature. House Bill 5714, which also passed the House Judiciary Committee today, would allow the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to distribute rules ahead of legislative action, again to help government regulation keep up with changing designer drugs.
Senator Anderson strongly feels that the companies producing these synthetic drugs and rapidly altering their substance to stay ahead of the law should be held accountable, remarking they “clearly have no regard for the safety of young people and should be treated like the drug dealers that they are.” Stores that carry the substances should hold themselves to a higher standard that protects public health and not be complicit in passing along what amounts to street drugs by a different name.
In addition to these steps, further efforts to address this dangerous and growing problem are underway. Anderson is working on additional legislation that would grant the State of Michigan additional authorities to address retailers convicted of possessing and/or selling one of the prohibited substances.
“The idea that a substance this harmful and unpredictable can be bought at the neighborhood gas station has rightly caused serious alarm for many Michigan citizens and the Legislature has the responsibility to swiftly address this public safety issue,” said Anderson.
Senator Anderson represents the sixth state senate district which includes the communities of Livonia, Westland, Garden City, and Redford Township.