Senator teams with Dr. Oz to crack down on “designer drugs”

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Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, yesterday announced with talk-show host Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon, that he is sponsoring legislation to ban designer drugs that have been formulated to mimic the effects of Ecstasy, LSD, Ketamine and other controlled substances. They are not regulated under current law and are readily available online.

The drugs, which are being marketed to teens and young adults, are sold under names like “Gogaine,” “Dust Till Dawn,” “Pink Panther” and “Charly Sheen,” according to Klein (pictured here). An investigation by the senator’s office found that sellers often refer to the drugs as “research chemicals” or “plant food,” and they include a label warning against ingesting them.

When delivered to a private Bronx residence, many packages lacked any information about the drug’s chemical makeup. Klein’s office was able to buy a container disguised as a can of tomato sauce to conceal the drugs. The return address appeared to be a private residence in the United Kingdom. It arrived with a customs form that said the contents were “novelty gifts” and “craft set parts.”

“No one is fooled by the cynical attempt of these sellers to mask the fact that they are online drug dealers who target young people,” Klein, chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, said in a statement. “These drugs are deadly, unrestricted, and one click away from becoming the next public health crisis in New York. My legislation will ban these dangerous substances today in order to prevent more tragedies tomorrow. ”

The senator said he was prompted to introduce the bill following a report last November on the “Dr. Oz Show.” The program detailed incidents in Oklahoma and Minnesota, where three young adults died and others were hospitalized after ingesting the controlled substances. Klein’s legislation would crack down on the substances by reclassifying 16 popular “research chemicals” as Schedule I controlled substances. Possession would be treated the same way other illegal drugs would if the bill were adopted.

“We must protect adolescents from dangers such as these new synthetic chemicals which present parents and police with unique challenges – mainly that they are available through the immediate, safe and anonymous pathway of the internet and that without any laws governing their sale enjoy immunity from law enforcement,” Oz said in a statement.

“In the fall I did yet another show trying to educate viewers on what this dangerous stuff was and what to look for.  I had parents on my show who live with unspeakable sorrow after their children were hurt by these legal chemicals.  Their nightmare shall never be repeated by the legislation proposed today.”

This is the report Klein’s office released:
Not for Human Consumption

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