The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation that would ban the chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana, known as “K2’ or “Spice.” The bill, sponsored by committee ranking member Chuck Grassley, is named for a young Iowa man who took his own life after using the drug.
“People are buying this drug so easily at the local mall or online that they think it’s safe,” said Grassley, R-Iowa. “The marketing is deceptive — the product is readily available. This all makes the drug seem harmless — it’s anything but harmless.
“David Rozga lost his life from using this product — others also have died or been seriously injured,” he said. “Congress needs to permanently control the substances used in this drug so no more lives are lost.”
In March, Grassley introduced the David Mitchell Rozga Act, named for the 18-year-old who took his own life in June 2010, soon after using K2 purchased from his local shopping mall.
Rozga's death might have been the first in the country stemming from the synthetic drug. In January, a high-school student in Omaha killed his assistant principal and himself. He had K2 in his system.
A number of other people across the country have acted violently while under the influence of the drug, dying or injuring themselves and others.
In addition to approving Grassley’s bill, the Judiciary Committee also approved bills to ban the chemicals used to make other dangerous synthetic drugs, bath salts, 2C-E ,and others.
“All of these drugs should be banned as soon as possible,” Grassley said. “They’re all highly dangerous to users. The chemicals used to produce them have no household use. The manufacturers and sellers of these products are engaging in a cynical money-making ploy that plays with human life.”
The bans require congressional action, because the Drug Enforcement Administration’s capacity to ban chemicals is limited.
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