FRANKFORT, Ky – Legislators are working to put another synthetic substance on the list of illegal drugs.
“It’s called red dove or MDPV, and it’s a perfect symbol of the problem we’re facing because it wasn’t even available for sale before 2007,” said Rep. Tilley, D-Hopkinsville. “It has four times the potency of Ritalin and mimics drugs like Ecstasy and methamphetamine, and if we don’t get a handle on it now, it could quickly get out of control.”
Rep. Tilley, who chairs the Kentucky House’s Judiciary Committee, worked on the recent law that bans salvia, which occurs naturally, and K2, a synthetic form of marijuana.
“Kentucky is one of just 10 states to take similar steps with synthetic drugs, and the federal government is starting to follow suit as well by recently banning K2 nationwide,” Rep. Tilley said.
According to the Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center, more than 100 cases of MDPV overdose have been reported to poison centers this year, with more than 75% occurring in just two states--Louisiana and Kentucky.
Van Ingram, the executive director for the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy notes that the synthetic drug trend began in Europe several years ago, and that these products are often marketed as bath salts or plant food to disguise their intent. Since the shift across the Atlantic to North America, local law enforcement officials are noticing the effects in their communities.
“Parents may not even know what is available to their children these days,” said Cadiz Police Chief Hollis Alexander. “While the more traditional drugs and alcohol are still very much a problem, these synthetic substances are gaining ground quickly. This legislation would give us a powerful tool to better combat that.”
Under the bill, those arrested for manufacturing or trafficking in MDPV would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, while those arrested for possession would face a Class B misdemeanor.
“I firmly believe the General Assembly has to act quickly to take on these mind-altering substances as they appear,” Rep. Tilley said. “We cannot stand back and just hope they go away. We need to give our law enforcement officers the ability to stop this before it goes any further.”
Story Created: Dec 21, 2010 at 11:56 AM CST