GovTrack’s Bill Summary
We don’t have a summary available yet.
The bill’s title was written by the bill’s sponsor. H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.
We don’t have a summary available yet.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
This summary can be found at http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr1254.
According to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce House Report 112-295, synthetic drugs imitate the hallucinogenic or stimulant properties of illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine or methamphetamines. Although synthetic drugs can affect the brain in a manner that is similar to Schedule I drugs and may be more harmful than the scheduled substances they simulate, these synthetic drugs are not prohibited under federal law.
Synthetic drugs are a serious public health problem, and, unfortunately, the use of these substances is increasing dramatically. In a concerted effort to circumvent the Controlled Substances Act, manufacturers manipulate the chemical structure of compounds used in synthetic drugs, while largely maintaining the pharmacological activity of the illegal substances they imitate. Subsequently, these synthetic drugs are sold to consumers as harmless alternatives to marijuana, cocaine, or methamphetamines.
Families across the country have witnessed firsthand that these designer drugs are anything but harmless. There are numerous instances where the use of these drugs has resulted in agitation, anxiety, vomiting, nausea, elevated blood pressure, seizures, tremors, hallucinations, paranoia, non-responsiveness, and death.
The Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011 is designed to ensure that the manufacture and sale of these dangerous synthetic substances are prohibited in the United States.
H.R. 1254 would amend the Controlled Substances Act to prohibit harmful synthetic drugs that imitate the hallucinogenic or stimulant properties of drugs like marijuana, cocaine or methamphetamines.
Additionally, H.R. 1254 would enhance the authority of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to temporarily schedule new substances.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 1254 would have no significant cost to the federal government. Enacting the bill could affect direct spending and revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any effects would be insignificant for each year.
As a result of this legislation, the government might be able to pursue cases involving drug use that it otherwise would not be able to prosecute. CBO expects that H.R. 1254 would apply to a relatively small number of additional offenders, however, so any increase in costs for law enforcement, court proceedings, or prison operations would not be significant. Any such costs would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Because those prosecuted and convicted under H.R. 1254 could be subject to criminal fines, the federal government might collect additional fines if the legislation is enacted. Criminal fines are recorded as revenues, deposited in the Crime Victims Fund, and later spent. CBO expects that any additional revenues and direct spending would not be significant because of the small number of cases likely to be affected.
H.R. 1254 would impose private-sector mandates, as defined in UMRA, on manufacturers, sellers, and consumers of certain synthetic chemicals. CBO estimates that the cost of complying with those mandates would probably exceed the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates in the first year after enactment ($142 million in 2011, adjusted annually for inflation).
The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.
So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.
We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.
The bill contains the following citations to other parts of U.S. law:
The United States Code is the compilation of permanent laws enacted by Congress. Temporary and other non-permanent laws do not appear in the United States Code. (About half of the United States Code is the law itself, called positive law. The other half is merely a compilation of the laws but has no legal significance.)