Sen. Jones sponsors bill to outlaw dangerous drugs faster

LANSING — State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, introduced Senate Bill 789 Thursday to establish a system to ban dangerous new synthetic drugs in Michigan faster.

“We continue to have the problem of synthetic drugs being manufactured and sold in Michigan,” said Jones, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

To protect Michigan residents, Jones has been working with the Michigan Department of Community Health to develop a better system to identify new synthetic drugs and make them illegal. A recent example would be the synthetic drugs nicknamed “bath salts.” The drugs are now illegal, but during the time it took the Legislature to act, the products were openly sold to people all over the state.

Another problem is chemists who slightly alter the molecular make-up of a synthetic drug so they can continue to profit from a dangerous chemical drug. There are currently several versions of “K-2.”

“There are rogue chemists who create drugs to get people high for a profit,” Jones said. “Greedy people sell these drugs for a profit and couldn’t care less if people end up in the hospital in critical condition or die. I hope this legislation will make the process faster, make Michigan a safer place, and save taxpayers money by keeping people out of the emergency room.”

If SB 789 becomes law, the DCH director would contact the Michigan Board of Pharmacy if a substance was causing imminent danger. The board would then be required to hold a public hearing within 10 days to determine if the substance should be listed as a controlled substance.

The police would be able to stop sales immediately. The board could then give the Legislature up to a year, if necessary, to codify its decision into law.