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New legislation will aid police in fight against drugs

In May, Gov. John Kasich signed Ohio House Bill 93 into law. This law will provide additional support to law enforcement in the fight against the illegal use, abuse and trafficking of narcotic pain medicine.

HB 93 improves Ohio’s computerized system that aims to help identify extensive prescription drug use, improves licensing of pain management clinics and develops a statewide prescription drug “take back” program.

On June 28, Ohio House Bill 64 became law. The effective date of HB 64 is Oct. 17. This bill has added the six synthetic derivatives of cathinone that have been found in bath salts.

These derivatives will become classified in the Schedule I controlled substance grouping as a hallucinogen.

HB 64 will also classify synthetic drugs, also called “designer drugs,” as Schedule I substances. This classification will prohibit the legal possession and/or selling of such “designer drugs.” These drugs are extremely dangerous if ingested and are not intended for human consumption. They are also unlicensed and unregulated.

They are not approved for medical use and are not a scheduled substance.

This new law can be quite significant since anecdotal evidence has suggested the drugs are used most often by youth and young adults, ages 15 to 24.

These “designer drugs” are sold under the general category of “bath salts” or “plant food.” Some common marketed names include “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” and “Bliss.”

Abuse of these substances, like all dangerous drugs and chemicals, creates problems for individuals, their families and our communities.

I find encouraging the legislative efforts that are being undertaken to aid the ability of law enforcement to rid Ohio communities of illicit drugs.

Specifically, it was long overdue to take action and enact laws to regulate pain management clinics.

The Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force operates in Lawrence County with funding provided from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services. To report suspected drug activity our hotline is available 24 hours a day. The number is (740) 534-5830.

Tim Sexton is 30-year veteran of law enforcement. He serves as the director of the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force.