The state Senate this week approved legislation designed to combat the sale of dangerous synthetic drugs. House Bill 2666, by Rep. David Derby and Sen. Rob Standridge, would bring a number of synthetic drugs under the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act.
Standridge explained that the sale of such drugs, particularly synthetic marijuana, has emerged as a health and public safety problem for which there is little regulation.
“The use of synthetic drugs is a growing problem that has resulted in tragic death and illness,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “This legislation will curb access to these substances and ensure they are subject to forfeiture. It’s a critical step in limiting the spread of synthetic drugs and giving law enforcement the tools to fight the problem.”
Synthetic drugs have been responsible for numerous deaths and hospitalizations across the country in recent years. In many cases, manufacturers and sellers have been able to avoid prosecution by slightly altering the composition of their drugs, producing chemical compounds that have yet to be listed as controlled dangerous substances. HB 2666 adds a variety of chemical compounds, including the chemical groups for synthetic cannabinoids, to the state’s list of controlled substances.
“The manufacturers of these substances have marketed them to young people, and as a result, children have suffered disproportionately by the spread of these drugs,” said Standridge. “This is legislation that can prevent future tragedies and keep harmful substances out of the reach of young Oklahomans.”
HB 2666 now advances to the governor.