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Casey Gratified by Senate Judiciary Move on Bath Salts, Urges DEA to Enact an Immediate Ban

July 19, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today praised the move by the Senate Judiciary Committee to schedule action on three bills designed to combat dangerous designer drugs, including bath salts. Senator Casey also again called for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to use its powers to implement a temporary ban on bath salts.

“I applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee for listening to the outcry in Pennsylvania and across the country on the need to get these dangerous drugs off the street,” said Senator Casey. “Banning bath salts has been a priority of mine since hearing about the damage these drugs have caused in Pennsylvania. Many states, including Pennsylvania, have taken the initiative to ban these drugs. A federal ban is necessary so there are no holes in the growing net closing in on bath salts. As these bills work through Congress, I still urge the DEA to implement a temporary ban.”

Senator Casey is a cosponsor of The Combating Dangerous Synthetic Stimulants Act (S.409), which would immediately add the ingredients in bath salts to the list of controlled substances. He is a also a cosponsor of the Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011 (S. 605), which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to double the timeframe the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services have to emergency schedule substances from 18 months to 36 months. This will allow for dangerous substances to be quickly removed from the market while being studied for permanent scheduling.

The Combating Designer Drugs Act of 2011 (S. 839) would ban the chemicals found in the synthetic drug 2C-E. Authorities believe 2C-E was responsible for a massive overdose in Minnesota that impacted 11 young people and killed a 19-year old in March.

Action on the bills could come as early as this Thursday.

In March, Senator Casey urged the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to use its authority to temporarily ban the chemicals in so-called ‘bath salts’ to immediately take the dangerous drugs off the streets. In a letter to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, Senator Casey pointed to recent DEA action to ban synthetic marijuana as precedent to take immediate action against the drugs in bath salts.