(STATEHOUSE) - Rep. Steve Davisson says legislators have made great strides this session to tackle the issues that matter most to Hoosiers and their families.
Those issues include: education, economic growth, public safety, health care and the financial direction of our state.
"I've passionately advocated for improved healthcare and medical practices in Indiana," Davisson says. "Most notably, I've co-sponsored Senate Bill (SB) 536 as a way to tackle a growing problem in our state regarding synthetic drugs."
Over the past few years, Indiana has been caught in the midst of a cat-and-mouse pursuit with pharmaceutical production companies, drafting legislation to criminalize synthetic substances that mimic the effects of harmful, illegal drugs.
"Yet, deceptive drug manufacturers find new ways to evade the law. SB 536 will give our state the leeway to stop the practice of dealing synthetic drugs in its tracks by way of the Attorney General," Davisson says.
The bill permits the Office of the Attorney General to issue a civil investigative demand to obtain immediate access to records relating to the sale of synthetic drugs, bring an action to subside a nuisance created in connection with the sale of synthetic drugs, and order the Department of State Revenue to suspend a retail merchant certificate if the holder commits certain violations relating to synthetic drugs or like substances.
The Board of Pharmacy would be permitted, on its own initiative or upon formal request from the State Police Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, or a Poison Control Center, to adopt an emergency rule declaring certain substances to be synthetic drugs. The sale of synthetic drugs will be a criminal offense with possession resulting in a misdemeanor or felony by way of this bill.
Just last year, as HB 1196 was drafted to put a stop to this exact issue, new substances were discovered that were manufactured, sold and used as a drug. Instead of attempting to block specific substances, SB 536 instead places the authority to criminalize synthetic drug manufacturers in the hands of the Attorney General.
Ensuring the safety of Hoosiers is always a top priority and keeping harmful drugs out of Hoosier communities is important. With the passing of this bill, we hope to see the production of synthetic substances halted and bad actors put behind bars.
The bill has passed the Senate and is working its way through the House. You can continue to track legislative happenings at the Statehouse by visiting http://www.in.gov/legislative.
Rep. Steve Davisson represents parts of Washington, Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties.
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