DeWine Fighting Synthetic Drugs
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced this week that he is intensifying his efforts to fight the abuse and sale of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and herbal incense.
“Today I’m announcing that we’re making a top priority of going after the sale, use, and distribution of these drugs with all the force of the Attorney General’s Office,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Synthetic drugs, sold under names like “OMG”, “Bizarro”, “Ivory Wave”, and “Vanilla Sky” are often abused by people 25 and younger. The drugs are very addictive, and the high can induce violence and extreme paranoia. They are sold in stores and on the internet, which makes people think they are safe, when in fact, they can be deadly.
Attorney General DeWine is asking retailers for help making sure illegal drugs are not sold in our state.
“Some store owners and employees continue to sell these drugs under the table, despite knowing how dangerous they are,” said DeWine. “Anyone who sells or distributes these drugs should be prepared for both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit.”
The Attorney General also announced new efforts to train law enforcement officers on how to investigate synthetic drug cases and how to build cases against synthetic drug distributors in Ohio. The courses will be available in a few months through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA).
Today Attorney General DeWine will also testify in front of the Ohio Senate Health, Human Services and Aging Committee to show his support for Substitute House Bill 334. The legislation includes a provision that would strengthen current laws banning synthetic drugs and prevent chemists from altering a drug’s components in an effort to bypass the law.
“The day Governor Kasich signs this bill into law, my agents, local law enforcement and the Ohio Pharmacy Board will be in the field to enforce it,” said DeWine. “To those who sell or distribute synthetic drugs, we will come after you. And if you’re a clandestine chemist, you will not dodge this law, and you will go to jail.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office currently has 10 special prosecutors available to assist and/or prosecute synthetic drug cases. Those with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) are also available to assist local law enforcement with investigations and forensic analysis.