Michigan law enforcement and health officials won’t have to wait for a new law to remove dangerous, harmful synthetic drugs from store shelves or street corners under legislation approved this week by the House.
House Bill 5338, sponsored by Rep. Ed McBroom, allows Michigan Department of Community Health officials to quickly identify and eliminate illegal mind-altering products no matter what name or form they take by temporarily categorizing substances that pose imminent danger as a controlled substance, and therefore make them subject to existing state drug enforcement laws.
“This won’t solve the drug problem in the state by any means, but it’s a great tool toward attacking it and protecting our local citizens, especially kids,” said McBroom, R-Vulcan. “The local officials are faced with the impossible task of dealing with a substance that everyone knows is an illicit drug but they have to wait six, eight months or even a year for a new law against it before they can take it off the shelves.”
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 these forms of synthetic drug product.
Earlier this year, 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.
More legislation for the smart justice initiative is being worked on.
“There are several other bills that have been introduced to fight this problem further and I’m anxious to support them,” McBroom said. “I’m pleased that we’ve taken this first step to help law enforcement address the immediate concerns. Now we are working out ways to prevent the substances from getting out in the first place.”
HB 5338 now goes to the Senate for consideration.