I missed this press release from justice.gov/dea published on July 26,2012 “DEA NEWS: Nationwide Synthetic Drug Takedown: 19 million packets of synthetic drugs seized and $36 million in cash .” In a Time Times article from July 7, 2012 called “Woman Gives Birth, Smokes Bath Salts, Violence Ensues; What is Really Going on Here?” I proposed that the news was reporting more “zombie attacks” caused by bath salts(that sometimes ended up not being associated with bath salts at all) in an effort to increase public support to ban the substances, which would then increase funding to fight the drug war. Bath salts are one of the synthetic drugs that were targeted by the recent DEA nationwide crackdown known as “Operation Log Jam.” Here are some facts from the press release :
- This was the “First ever nationwide law enforcement action against the synthetic designer drug industry”
- 90 people were arrested
- Five million packets of finished designer drugs were seized.
- $36 million dollars in cash was seized (Who says the drug war isn’t a way for government to make money?)
- Since July 26, 2012, 4.8 million packets of synthetic cannabinoids have been seized
- Since July 26, 2012 products to produce 13.6 million packets of synthetic cannabinoids (ex. K2, Spice) have been seized
- Since July 26, 2012 167,000 packets of synthetic cathinones (ex. bath salts) have been seized
- Since July 26, 2012 products to produce 392, 000 packets of synthetic cathinones have been seized
- 2010, poison centers nationwide responded to approximately 3,200 calls related to synthetic cathinones and synthetic cannabinoids
- 2011, poison centers nationwide responded to approximately 13,000 calls related to synthetic cathinones and synthetic cannabinoids, with 60% of the patients being 25 years of age or younger
Excerpts from DEA press release:
“Although tremendous progress has been made in legislating and scheduling these dangerous substances, this enforcement action has disrupted the entire illegal industry, from manufacturers to retailers,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “Together with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we are committed to targeting these new and emerging drugs with every scientific, legislative, and investigative tool at our disposal.”
“While many of the designer drugs being marketed today that were seized as part of Operation Log Jam are not specifically prohibited in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986 (AEA) allows these drugs to be treated as controlled substances if they are proven to be chemically and/or pharmacologically similar to a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance. A number of cases that are part of Operation Log Jam will be prosecuted federally under this analogue provision, which specifically exists to combat these new and emerging designer drugs.
“DEA has used its emergency scheduling authority to combat both synthetic cathinones (the so-called bath salts like Ivory Wave, etc.) and synthetic cannabinoids (the so-called incense products like K2, Spice, etc.), temporarily placing several of these dangerous chemicals into Schedule I of the CSA. Congress has also acted, permanently placing 26 substances into Schedule I of the CSA.“
While the DEA is supported by the above mentioned federal laws, a new one was signed by the president on July 9, 2012. The law is part of S. 3187: Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act and places synthetic drugs in the Schedule I class, and would extend the amount of time allotted for the temporary scheduling of a substance as a schedule I drug to two years with a one year extension, in comparison to current law stipulating one year with a sixth month extension for temporary scheduling. It would also put “Unless specifically exempted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of cannabimimetic agents, or which contains their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers…” in the schedule I class. Continue reading