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01 September 2011

Rupp: Keeping Synthetic Drugs Out of Missouri

In our great state of Missouri, it is important that we keep our citizens safe and prevent harmful substances from entering into our midst. My colleagues and I heard countless stories of people who had their lives turned upside down because of dangerous drugs masked as ordinary household items, such as synthetic cocaine, marketed as bath salts and selling under the names “Ivory Wave” and “Vanilla Sky.” These products were selling in local stores and drew buyers in with brightly colored packaging. The fact that this dangerous and deadly substance has been sold at local businesses is disturbing, to say the least.

To prevent synthetic drugs from entering the hands of our friends, family, and children, HB 641 was passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor, and took effect on Sunday, Aug. 28. The bill changes the laws regarding controlled substances, and states that it is illegal to sell, distribute, or possess synthetic cannabinoids (K2 and K3, used for synthetic marijuana), synthetic cocaine (bath salts), and other similar drugs. These synthetic drugs can now be found under Missouri’s Schedule I list of controlled substances, and a person who possesses any of the chemicals used to create these synthetic drugs will face the same charges as the illegal drugs the substances imitate.

Many people who take synthetic drugs aren’t aware of the danger they possess. Synthetic cocaine contains the chemical methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and can be deadly — side effects of this element have included paranoia, seizures, kidney failure, and hallucinations. And the number of people taking synthetic drugs is increasing — according to a report published by The Associated Press, the American Association of Poison Control Centers determined that throughout the first several months of 2011, there were more than 2,700 cases of people falling ill from synthetic drugs. In all of 2010, there were less than 3,200 such cases.

As you can see, these dangerous drugs have caused serious problems for Missourians, and I am thankful that a measure like HB 641 was enacted into law. Young people especially will be tempted to try drugs, and aside from educating our kids to just say “no,” we need to do what we can to keep these substances out of sight. As always, if you have any questions regarding this or any other governmental matter, please don’t hesitate to contact me and the information below.

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