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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Senator Calls for Synthetic Drug Investigative Unit

The state of New York, like Florida, has been hit hard by the synthetic drug scourge that continues to worsen in the United States. The number of emergency room cases involving “bath salts” and synthetic marijuana continues to grow. Synthetic drugs have become easy to acquire using websites that sell the dangerous products.

Efforts to combat synthetic drug use have been met with difficulty. The chemicals used to make these types of drugs are primarily manufactured in China where there is little oversight. The compounds see little, if any, testing before they are sent overseas to the American market. When federal agencies ban a particular compound, chemists quickly alter its makeup to bypass the bans.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer has requested that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) create an investigative unit focused on synthetic drugs, the Daily News reports. The state of New York has outlawed the sale and use of synthetic drugs, but they are still being purchased online or in another state.

“Unless we find a way to choke off their supply, synthetic drugs are going to keep delivering very real and very painful consequences,” Schumer said. “Toxic chemicals, cooked mainly in China, are available to dealers or bodegas at the drop of a hat."

Schumer believes that the investigative unit should set its sights on websites selling synthetic drugs, according to the article. The DEA should inform credit card companies and online payment services like PayPal that illegal transactions are being made.

"It's hard to shut them down because the Chinese government doesn't cooperate," said Schumer. "But if we eliminate the ability to process credit cards we can strangle their operation, we can choke off their oxygen."

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