More Anti-Drug Legislation

Michigan law enforcement and health officials will have a better tool for quickly identifying and eliminating illegal mind-altering products no matter what name or form they take if legislation from state Rep. Ed McBroom becomes law.

House Bill 5338 took a step toward that goal today, gaining approval from the House Judiciary Committee. The legislation allows the Michigan Department of Community Health to temporarily categorize substances that pose imminent danger to the health or lives of Michigan residents as a controlled substance, making the substance subject to existing state drug enforcement laws.

“Whether it was called ‘K2’ in the past, ‘bath salts’ now and whatever it may be named in the future, this stuff is dangerous,” said McBroom, R-Vulcan. “The safety of children, adults and our communities can’t be put on hold every time the drug dealers come up with the name of the day to try and stay a step ahead of the law.”

McBroom said he has been contacted by more than 300 constituents, along with petitions and letters from local city, township, school and law enforcement officials, expressing safety concerns for this product.

“One community forum on the issue had over 200 people in attendance,” the lawmaker said.

Earlier this month, Gov. Rick Snyder included the fight against designer drugs and specifically McBroom’s bill during his announcement of almost two dozen ‘smart justice’ initiatives that connect law enforcement, crime prevention and economic growth to improving communities in Michigan. The governor said designer drugs circumvent the controlled substance law and emerge in communities with little warning, causing severe harm and even loss of life.

Senate Bill 789, legislation similar to HB 5338, also was voted on by the House committee. The two bills now go to the House for consideration