Grassley in new effort to fight synthetic drugs

K2 SpiceFrom Press Release


U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) joined a group of senators who have reintroduced bipartisan legislation to help fight synthetic drugs.

The Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances Act would make it easier to prosecute the sale and distribution of new synthetic drugs that are “analogues” – or substantially similar to current illegal drugs. Current law makes it difficult to prosecute new synthetic drugs as analogues because they are often labeled “not intended for human consumption” and not marketed for human consumption despite their well-known use as recreational drugs with dangerous effects.

The senators’ legislation would make it easier to prove that synthetic drugs are intended for human consumption and thus easier to prosecute.

“The cynical makers of these drugs often label their products ‘not intended for human consumption’ to evade the law and escape prosecution,” Grassley said. “This bill would help make clear that a label intended to mislead isn’t fooling anybody in the eyes of the law.  Those who market poisonous products that harm consumers including teen-agers ought to be prosecuted for it.” 

Current law provides the Drug Enforcement Agency with a mechanism to prosecute the sale and distribution of analogue drugs. However, the law specifically says that an analogue drug does not include any substance “not intended for human consumption.” This makes the prosecution of offenders difficult as synthetic drugs often explicitly state that they are “not intended for human consumption.”

This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to require consideration of a number of factors when determining whether a controlled substance analogue was intended for human consumption, including the marketing, advertising, and labeling of a substance, and its known use. The bill also says that the existence of evidence that a substance was not marketed, advertised, or labeled for human consumption, should not stop prosecutors from being able to establish based on all the evidence that the substance was in fact intended for human consumption.