State adds two more synthetic drugs to banned substances list

By MARC KOVAC @ohiocapitalblog mkovac@dixcom.com Published:

COLUMBUS -- Two more synthetic drugs have been added to the state's list of banned substances.

Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the additions Thursday, the day a new administrative rule prohibiting "PB-22" and "5F-PB-22" went into effect, under a law that enables the state to clamp down on potentially harmful drugs being sold over the counter.

"These substances pose a serious threat to public safety and have no medicinal value," Kyle Parker, director of the state pharmacy board, said in a released statement."

Synthetic drugs often are marketed as incense or potpourri or sold as a spray that can be smoked or swallowed, mimicking the effects of marijuana. The products are addictive and can cause psychotic behavior.

The pharmacy board has authority under a state law passed in 2012 to classify new synthetic drugs as controlled substances. That's a change from years past, when lawmakers would have to pass legislation to identify each emerging drug.

Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, said it took about nine months to ban the two new drugs under the rules process.

DeWine on Thursday urged lawmakers to sign off on new legislation that would give the attorney general the power to ban new synthetic drugs on an emergency basis while new rules are being finalized.

"We are grateful for the help of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and their willingness to partner with us in the goal to permanently ban newly created synthetic drugs," DeWine said in a released statement. "The standard process for banning these substances, however, takes far too long, which is why we are asking the legislature to give the attorney general's office emergency authority to ban new synthetic drugs as soon as new chemicals of concern come into our lab."

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