Beshear signs emergency regulations to combat synthetic drugs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - In the ongoing fight against synthetic drugs, Governor Steve Beshear signed emergency regulations Tuesday, reclassifying some newly-identified substances as Schedule 1, and opening the door for more prosecutions.

This will be the first time Governor Beshear has used an administrative regulation to combat new synthetic drugs, a power granted to him by House Bill 481 earlier this year.

"This measure lets us keep pace with backyard chemists who try to skirt the law by manipulating the formulas of dangerous substances," the governor said. "And it gives us the tools to respond to threats as soon as they are identified."

The bill outlawed a laundry list of synthetic substances, which police say were being sold in stores and used to get high.

"It's just like any other drug, it's addictive, it makes a person under the influence and it's dangerous, and it's dangerous to our young people," said Trooper Lloyd Cochran of the Kentucky State Police.

"The sad part is they're actually marketed to children. You know they go by the name of Scooby Doo, and other cartoon-related characters on the packages," said Dan Smoot with Operation UNITE.

Officials say the move from the governor will give law enforcement more teeth to fight synthetic drugs.

"I think the governor should be applauded. He's long been proactive with his stance on synthetic drugs," said Smoot. "And I believe the signing yesterday showed just how serious he is."

With the reclassification to Schedule 1, officials say the message is clear: Kentucky will not tolerate synthetic drugs.

The substances in question were identified recently in a joint effort between the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy and the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab.


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