February 28, 2017

Senator Hassan Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Crack Down on Synthetic Drugs

Senator Hassan Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Crack Down on Synthetic Drugs

The SALTS Act Would Make it Easier to Prosecute the Sale and Distribution of Synthetic Substances with High Risks of Addiction and Abuse

WASHINGTON - Yesterday, as part of her comprehensive efforts to combat the heroin, opioid, and fentanyl crisis devastating communities across New Hampshire, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mark Warner (D-VA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) in co-sponsoring the Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances (SALTS) Act.

The SALTS Act would make it easier to prosecute the sale and distribution of "analogue" drugs that are synthetic substances substantially similar to illegal drugs. Under current law, it's difficult to prosecute new synthetic drugs as analogues because they are often labeled as, "not intended for human consumption," even though they are well-known as recreational drugs with high risks of addiction and abuse. The SALTS Act would help make it easier to prove that synthetic drugs are intended for human consumption, supporting those on the front lines battling the substance abuse crisis in prosecuting traffickers and cracking down on synthetic drugs.

"As we have seen in communities across New Hampshire, synthetic drugs pose a serious threat to public health and public safety, especially for our young people," Senator Hassan said. "The SALTS Act is an important step forward in our efforts to support those on the front lines of combating the substance abuse crisis, empowering law enforcement to crack down on synthetic substances and better prosecute traffickers. I look forward to continue working across the aisle to support law enforcement and to strengthen prevention, treatment, and recovery services throughout New Hampshire in order to stem - and ultimately reverse - the tide of this horrible substance abuse epidemic."

TheSALTS Actamends theControlled Substances Actto allow for consideration of a number of factors when determining whether a controlled substance analogue was intended for human consumption, including the marketing, advertising, and labeling of a substance, and its known use. The bill also provides that evidence that a substance was not marketed, advertised, or labeled for human consumption, by itself, is not sufficient to establish that the substance was not intended for human consumption.

As Governor of New Hampshire, Hassan declared a state of emergency as the result of overdoses from the synthetic cannabinoid identified as "Smacked!" She also signed Senate Bill 106 into law in 2015 as Governor, restricting the sale or possession of dangerous synthetic drugs. In the Senate, she recently co-sponsored the Stop Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, bipartisan legislation designed to help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers here in the United States.

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