WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today cosponsored legislation to require the Department of Justice to report to Congress on a federal strategy to work with state and local officials to target the dangerous drugs known as bath salts.
“These so-called bath salts pose a grave threat to our public health and safety,” said Senator Casey. “It is imperative that the federal government work in a smart and strategic way with state and local agencies to get dangerous synthetic drugs out of our communities.”
The legislation, which will be filed as an amendment to the Commerce, State and Justice appropriations bill for FY ’12, will require the Department of Justice to develop a comprehensive strategy to partner with state and local law enforcement to combat the spread of bath salts. Specifically, the legislation would require a strategy for:
(1) partnering with local law enforcement officials, hospitals, and schools to educate parents and young people about the dangers of abusing MDPV and mephedrone;
(2) addressing the rampant abuse and ease of access of these substances in rural communities, where such problems can multiply quickly while attention is placed on larger population centers;
(3) utilizing the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program to provide additional assistance to law enforcement agencies operating in areas experiencing high levels of MDPV and mephedrone trafficking;
(4) improving coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to seize shipments of MDPV and mephedrone; and
(5) developing and distributing test kits so that local law enforcement can better identify dangerous individuals under the influence of MDPV and mephedrone in the field.
Senator Casey is also a cosponsor of the Combating Dangerous Synthetic Drugs Act and the Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act, legislation to immediately add the ingredients in bath salts to the list of controlled substances and amend the Controlled Substances Act to double the timeframe the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services have to emergency schedule substances. This will allow for dangerous substances to be quickly removed from the market while being studied for permanent scheduling.