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H.R. 2148 (113th): Synthetics are Dangerous Act of 2013

The text of the bill below is as of May 23, 2013 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. R. 2148


May 23, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


To amend the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998 to increase public awareness about the dangers of synthetic drugs through the national youth antidrug media campaign.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Synthetics are Dangerous Act of 2013 .



The Congress finds as follows:


Synthetic drugs, sometimes referred to as designer drugs, are chemical compounds produced in clandestine laboratories to mimic or enhance the effects of schedule I controlled substances such as methamphetamine, ecstasy, and marijuana.


Given the lack of extensive medical research on many synthetic drugs and their various analogues, the full scope of their harmful effects is not well understood.


The circumstantial evidence of the harmful effects of synthetic drugs, particularly synthetic cannabinoids (such as K2 and spice) and synthetic stimulants (such as bath salts) are, nevertheless, alarming—


in 2010, more than 11,000 individuals were admitted into the emergency room from complications arising from synthetic drug use, and nearly 25 percent of those patients required further medical treatment; and


in 2011, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported more than a two-fold increase in the number of calls related to synthetic marijuana from the previous year.


The harmful effects of ingesting synthetic drugs include but are not limited to agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, tremor, seizures, hallucinations, paranoid behavior, and nonresponsiveness.


Like all schedule I drugs, these synthetic drugs are drugs that have a high potential for abuse, have no medical use in the United States, and lack an accepted safe use.


The passage of the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 was an important step in reducing the access of teens and young adults to dangerous and addictive synthetic drugs.


New synthetic drugs are being manufactured that contain chemical compounds not found on schedule I, as set forth in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)), that nevertheless mimic or enhance the effects of controlled substances like methamphetamine, marijuana, ecstasy, and LSD.


Hundreds, potentially thousands, of teens and young adults will be admitted into emergency rooms around the country from complications caused by the ingestion of the next breed of harmful, synthetic drugs.


It is the sense of the Congress that there is an urgent need, particularly among teens, young adults, and parents, to raise awareness about the dangers of these new synthetic drugs.


Increasing public awareness of dangers of synthetic drugs through national youth antidrug media campaign

Section 709 of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998 (21 U.S.C. 1708) is amended—


in subsection (a)(3), by inserting and synthetic drug use after illegal drug use; and


by redesignating subsection (l) as subsection (m) and inserting after subsection (k) the following new subsection:



For purposes of this section:



The term drug has the meaning given such term in section 702(3) and includes a synthetic drug.


Synthetic drug

The term synthetic drug means an artificially produced substance that, as determined by the Director, is an analog or derivative of a controlled substance (as defined in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act ( 21 U.S.C. 802(6) ), but is not itself a controlled substance.