Federal, State Progress on Synthetic Drugs

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed four bills to list K2 and others as Schedule 1 drugs, while DEA thanked congressional negotiators June 19 for agreeing to add 26 synthetic drugs to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

As Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed four bills to add K2, Spice and other dangerous synthetic drugs to the list of Schedule 1 drugs, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration offered thanks June 19 to U.S. House of Representatives and Senate negotiators for a similar action. DEA said the negotiators agreed to add 26 synthetic drugs to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act as part of S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. Schedule I is for substances with a high potential for abuse, that have no medical use in treatment in the United States, and lack an accepted safety for use of the drug, according to DEA. K2 and Spice are among the 26 drugs to be listed.

"K2, Spice, and similar products are not safe for human consumption, and I applaud the legislature's efforts to remove these dangerous compounds from our communities and protect our youth," Snyder said when he signed House Bill 5338, H.B. 5714, Senate Bill 789, and S.B. 1082. They are intended to prevent manufacturers from continuing to sell the drugs after making small changes in the chemical makeup of the drug. The bills allow the Department of Community Health and Michigan Board of Pharmacy to temporarily designate a drug as a controlled substance.

DEA said in addition to scheduling the 26 drugs, the federal law would double the length of time a substance can be temporarily placed in Schedule I, from 18 to 36 months, and will create a new definition for "cannabamimetic agents" -- plant material laced with synthetic cannabinoids which, when smoked, mimic the effects of THC. Citing the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, DEA said more than 100 such substances have been synthesized and identified to date.

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