STATEHOUSE – Dealing in or possessing synthetic drugs will see harsher penalties under new law. House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1196, co-authored by Rep. David Yarde (R-Garrett), prohibits dealing in or possessing synthetic drugs. The legislation was recently signed in to law.
Many synthetic drugs are being distributed to students and are not being considered illegal due to the slight difference in their chemical compound from drugs which are listed as illegal narcotics under Indiana statute. The new law expands the definition of synthetic drugs to include a range of chemical compounds, including those known as “bath salts.”
‘Bath salts’ have effects similar to amphetamines and can cause damage to the nervous system. The law enhances penalties for possessing or dealing synthetic bath salts and other synthetic compounds.
“This piece of legislation being signed into law allows Indiana to protect Hoosiers from these harmful synthetic drugs,” said Rep. Yarde. “We can’t sit back while retailers are allowed to sell these substances under different names or disguised as ‘bath salts.’ This law widens the definition of synthetic drugs and will make it much easier to have newly found drugs banned. Ultimately it will help prohibit the rising sales of these hazardous substances.”
The Indiana Board of Pharmacy is allowed to add newly identified chemical components, found in Indiana or other states, to the banned list immediately through emergency rule. The law also enhances penalties for dealing in or possessing synthetic drugs. Merchant retailers’ registration will be suspended for one year if they are found to be selling or offering synthetic drugs.
“This law will stop making it simple for chemists to create and distribute what they are justifying as ‘legal’ drugs,” said Rep. Yarde. “In 2011, we passed legislation that banned all known compounds, including those know as ‘spice’. However, since the end of the 2011 session, even more compounds have been created and sold for consumption. By allowing the Board of Pharmacy to step in, we can react more quickly to newly made compounds which should not be legal due to their harmful effects.
“It’s so important to protect Hoosiers from the danger of instant addiction that plagues so many people all over the state. This legislation will further provide that protection.”
The new law is effective immediately.