AUSTIN, Texas — State Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) has filed a bill to prohibit the sale and use of synthetic drugs in Texas. “Synthetic drugs” are chemical compounds that are designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of an illegal drug, often marijuana.
These drugs are frequently marketed to teenagers, and are sold in packaging marking them as incense or another non-drug product, in an attempt to get around existing drug laws. According to Perry, the manufacturers of these synthetic drugs keep working on stronger and stronger compounds, and often operate overseas, making it very difficult to know what is actually in the products. Side effects caused by synthetic drugs have included “hallucination, severe agitation, elevated heart rate and/or blood pressure, chest pains, blackouts, tremors, seizures, cardiac infarction, and in some cases death,” according to a press release from Perry’s office.
Perry told Breitbart Texas that people often mistakenly believe that these drugs are “safe” because they are not “real” drugs, but “these drugs are a lot more dangerous than your street drugs because we don’t know what’s in them…it’s really a public safety issue.” Back in May of this year, more than three dozen people became ill after taking a synthetic marijuana that was manufactured in Dallas and sold in Austin under the name “K2,” according to a report by CBS-Dallas-Fort Worth. Then, a few months later, a Katy, Texas man was sentenced to more than twenty years in prison for his role in manufacturing a synthetic drug that killed two teenagers.
Perry’s bill, Senate Bill 199, strengthens the provisions of the Texas Controlled Substances Act by adding additional chemicals that have been identified as being used in these drugs to the list of prohibited substances, as well as expanding the “controlled substance analogue” provisions which cover any newly developed synthetic drugs “with a chemical structure substantially similar” to the already identified banned chemicals or “specifically designed to produce an effect substantially similar to, or greater than, the effect of” one of the banned chemicals.
“In shops across the state, dangerous synthetic drugs are being sold to our youth, over the counter without repercussions,” said Perry. “These drugs are unregulated and more dangerous than the illegal counterparts they seek to imitate. I look forward to working with local law enforcement to ensure this common sense legislation becomes law and these dangerous substances stay out off of our streets and out of our schools.”
Photo credit: Creative Commons licensed image via Wikipedia.
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