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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's drug czar warned Americans Tuesday about the growing threat of designer drugs marketed as "bath salts" that are in fact dangerous amphetamine-type stimulants.

    "I am deeply concerned about the distribution, sale and use of synthetic stimulants -- especially those that are marketed as legal substances," said Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    "At a time when drug use in America is increasing, the marketing and sale of these poisons as 'bath salts' is both unacceptable and dangerous."

    Sold legally under names such as Ivory Wave, Purple Wave and Vanilla Sky, the powdery substances contain synthetic stimulants including MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and mephedrone -- drugs known to produce euphoric and aphrodisiac effects, as well as increased alertness, in users.

    "Abuse of these unlicensed and unregulated drugs is growing across the country," said Kerlikowske, who pointed to dramatic increases in emergency calls to poison control centers across the country in the past year.

    He said 251 phone calls related to "bath salts" had been made to the centers this year alone, already higher than the 236 calls for all of 2010.

    Doctors, he said, have indicated that "ingesting 'bath salts' containing synthetic stimulants can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia and delusions."

    Websites selling Ivory Wave state the product is "not for human consumption," but users posting on online drug blogs have written of snorting the drug to achieve a "legal high" similar to that of cocaine.

    Several states, including Hawaii, Louisiana and Michigan, have introduced legislation to have the products banned. They are for sale online and at stores in several states, according to various reports.

    In April, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime described mephedrone as "a synthetic drug often touted as a legal alternative to amphetamine or cocaine," and said its use had become widespread in Europe, North America and Australia, with reports of related deaths.

    UNODC noted that because of "chemical differences, there are often no legislative restrictions on (the drugs') manufacture and distribution."

    Feb 1, 2010



  1. Terrapinzflyer
    White House keeping tabs on drug bill

    CHARLESTON — West Virginia’s effort to rid the landscape of synthetic marijuana and cocaine has attracted the attention of the White House.

    Just this week, both houses passed versions of bills that would outlaw such drugs, peddled in convenience stores under a variety of exotic labels, such as “K2” and “Purple Sticky,” all intended to give the user a high like the real thing.

    Soon after the Senate’s stronger version cleared, one that expands the Board of Pharmacy’s power to deal with any new products that surface in a burgeoning market, the White House recognized the action in an e-mail to The Register-Herald.

    “Terrific,” said Sen. Evan Jenkins, D-Cabell, a leading advocate of the bill, given the proliferation of the fake drugs in the Huntington area.

    “It’s nice getting a little potential national attention for things we’re doing right.”

    Jenkins said it could be the White House’s National Drug Control Policy initially got involved after a former official appeared before the health committees of both the Senate and the House of Delegates.

    “He gave our efforts very glowing marks on what we’re doing,” Jenkins recalled.

    “However it got on their radar screen, I think it’s certainly good news. At every turn, it seems we are getting recognized for some of the proactive things we are doing. Unfortunately, we’ve got a problem bigger than most, so we need to be doing more than most.”

    In the nation’s capital, Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Drug Control Policy, voiced “deep concern” over the production, sale and use of synthetic narcotics.

    “Although we lack sufficient data to understand exactly how prevalent the use of these stimulants are, we know they pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of young people and anyone who may use them,” Kerlikowske said.

    “At a time when drug use in America is increasing, the marketing and sale of these poisons as ‘bath salts’ is both unacceptable and dangerous. As public health officials work to address this emerging threat, I ask that parents and other adult influencers act immediately to discuss with young people the severe harm that can be caused by the use of both legal and illegal drugs and to prevent drug use before it starts.”

    Before the bill passed, its lone sponsor, Sen. Karen Facemyer, R-Jackson, outlined some disturbing statistics on drug usage by children in her district, based on surveys taken by a newly organized anti-drug coalition.

    The Senate expanded its list of illegal drugs in the bill by adding another, benzlpiperazine, or BZP — a recreational drug with euphoric stimulant qualities, that was initially detected in the last decade in California.

    “I really think part of the magic of what we’re doing is being more proactive than reactive with the kind of bill we passed by providing new tools to the Board of Pharmacy,” Jenkins said.

    While there was no dissent in either chamber, the Senate legislation is considered the stronger of the two versions.

    Jenkins is confident of “a meeting of the minds pretty quickly” in getting the two bills reconciled.

    “This is not like picking an election date,” he said.

    “Everybody is pulling in the same direction with a common goal here.”

    By Mannix Porterfield Register-Herald Reporter


    NOTE: The relevant part of West Virgina House Bill 2505:

    The underlining doesn't transfer here- full text at http://anonym.to/?http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2011_SESSIONS/RS/Bills/hb2505 intr.htm
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