[r73] Bill targets deceptive sale of synthetic drugs (2/21/2013)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Start Date: 2/21/2013 All Day
STATEHOUSE - Representative Steve Davisson (R-Salem) coauthored House Bill (HB) 1524, which aims to put more authority into the hands of the Office of the Attorney General to prosecute pharmaceutical companies dealing synthetic drugs. It passed out of the House Wednesday unanimously. The bill is authored by Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus). 

“Over the past few years, we have been caught in the midst of a cat-and-mouse pursuit with pharmaceutical production companies, drafting legislation to criminalize a substance as deceptive drug manufacturers find new ways to evade the law,” said Rep. Davisson. “House Bill 1524 will give us the leeway to stop the practice of dealing synthetic drugs in its tracks by way of the Attorney General.” 

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 abate 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 lookalike substances. The sale of a synthetic drug lookalike substance is a criminal offense and intentional possession 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, HB 1524 instead places the authority to criminalize synthetic drug manufacturers in the hands of the Attorney General.

“Ensuring the safety of Hoosiers is a priority,” said Rep. Davisson. “With the passing of this bill, we hope to see the production of synthetic substances halted and bring civil action where it is due.” 

HB 1524 will move to the Senate for further consideration.  You can continue to track legislative happenings at the statehouse by visiting http://www.in.gov/legislative. 

Davisson_HB 1524.docx