Health Departments, Police to Monitor Ban on Synthetic Drugs
FOX 47 News
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Governor Rick Snyder signed a group of bills Tuesday effectively banning substances known as 'designer drugs', and putting local health departments and law enforcement in charge of monitoring the ban.
"We've been battling and fighting this K2-type synthetic drugs for some time now," said East Lansing Police Captain, Bill Mitchell. "The problem is that every time a certain substance is banned, the chemists go in and change it."
The newly-signed legislation will help to fight that problem.
One of the bills updates the list of chemicals used to make synthetic drugs. making them illegal to use or sell. Another group of bills allows the state to temporarily ban substances deemed dangerous to the public by the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Michigan Board of Pharmacy.
The former goes into effect July 1, the latter goes into effect immediately.
Although the Michigan State Police will be mostly monitoring the ban, Dr. Renee Canady met with local police chiefs from across Ingham County, Tuesday, to discuss how to go about patrolling.
"Our hope is that from now, even until July 1 that they would begin to take it off their shelves," said Canady, Health Officer of the Ingham County Health Department. "In the case where retailers do not voluntarily stop selling it, then there are enforcement efforts."
According to Canady, the most important part of the ban is educating the public and the retailers about the dangers of K2, bath salts and other synthetic drugs.
The message is already being heard by local stores as many have began to take down signs announcing the sale of K2 at their business.