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Synthetic drug legislation passes out of House

Rep. David Yarde’s (R-Garrett) co-authored bill, House Bill (HB) 1196, passed out of the House unanimously on Jan. 26 with a 97-0 vote. The bill expands the definition of synthetic drugs to include a range of chemical compounds, including those known as “bath salts.” The bill will help prohibit the rising sales of these hazardous substances.

Rep. Yarde’s version of the bill allows the Indiana Board of Pharmacy to add newly identified chemical components, found in Indiana or other states, to the banned list immediately through emergency rule.

“We need to run alongside these creative chemists in order to protect Hoosiers,” said Rep. Yarde. “Drug addiction is a plague that is engulfing not just Northeast Indiana, but all over the United States. This creates more protection for the youth of Indiana.”

Bath salts have effects similar to amphetamines and can cause damage to the nervous system. The law would make possessing or dealing synthetic bath salts the same as the real drug and enhance penalties for those offenses with jail time.

The significant activity of synthetic drugs is causing concerns for Hoosiers all over the state. This concern is driven by the change in compounds that have recently escaped Indiana law. Chemists are taking advantage of the current law that only lists specific drugs and not many specific ingredients that are extremely dangerous.

Many drugs are being distributed to students and are not being considered illegal due to the slight difference from drugs listed in the law. House Republicans believe the supply and demand of these drugs continues to put young Hoosiers at risk.

 “We want to create this law that will stop making it easy for chemists to create and distribute what they are justifying as ‘legal’ drugs,” said Rep. Yarde. “Passing HB 1196 will protect young Hoosiers from getting caught up in synthetic drugs which create instant addictions to extremely dangerous substances. This is an extremely important step that must be taken in order to protect our Hoosier children and young adults.”