Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Senator Portman amendment would ban 28 synthetic drugs

Police departments across the country are encountering a growing trend in the use of inexpensive synthetic drugs. The drugs are sold under a variety of names, and come in a variety of formulations that are constantly changing. The synthetic drugs come in packages which typically say they should not be ingested, but consumers are increasingly using them to mimic the effects of street drugs.

After a series of attacks across the country involving individuals who consumed synthetic drugs, Ohio Senator Rob Portman has introduced an amendment to a Senate FDA bill that would put a federal ban on the substance. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 92-4 on Tuesday and is now set to go to the president, who is expected to sign it.

The effects of the synthetic drugs are apparently closer to synthetic methamphetamine and cocaine than to marijuana, and include excited delirium, paranoia, extraordinary strength, violence and unpredictable behavior. The drugs work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain to dangerous levels and trapping it there so the user doesn't come down from their high.

In one incident, a Florida man was suspected of taking the drugs after he was discovered lying naked on top of a homeless man eating his face. A toxicology report has since shown, however, that the there were no bath salts or other major street drugs, other than marijuana, in the attacker's system. In another recent case, a Texas man who attacked a family pet after taking a version of the synthetic drugs faces a felony charge after that incident.

Congress has been asked to ban the substances, but because it could not agree on a bill, the Drug Enforcement Agency issued a temporary ban which is set to expire in six months. Portman's amendment would classify 28 synthetic drugs on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, making them illegal to sell or possess except for qualified researchers.

A number of states have already passed bans on various synthetic drugs, but consumers and vendors may not always be clear about which are legal and which are not.

Source: ABC News, "Rob Portman: Zombie Hunter," Chris Moody, June 27, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Need Help From An Experienced Team Of Trial Attorneys?

Use the form below to contact our attorneys directly. Contact us right now.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience and are AV-rated* under Martindale Hubbell's peer review rating system.

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

8048 One Calais Avenue | Suite A | Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3483 | Phone: 225-250-1812 | Fax: 225-769-0195 | Baton Rouge Law Office Map