FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2013
WITH THREE PEOPLE RECENTLY KILLED IN NYC BY OVERDOSE: SCHUMER PUSHES NEW PLAN TO CURTAIL USE OF INCREASINGLY DANGEROUS AND POPULAR CLUB DRUG “MOLLY” – IMMEDIATE STEPS WOULD INCREASE ENFORCEMENT AND MAKE IT HARDER TO MANUFACTURER AND OBTAIN
Drug Is Frequently Counterfeit and Replaced With Even More Dangerous Substances – Schumer Led Charge To Successfully Ban Equally Dangerous “Bath Salts”
Right Now Molly And Similar Drugs Are Easy To Manufacturer Because Many Hallucinogenic Chemicals Are not Banned By Federal Law
Schumer Plan Would Have Federal Drug Task Force Focus On Molly Labs and Give DEA Emergency Authority To Ban Hallucinogenic Chemicals
Today U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer laid out a plan to curtail the use of the increasingly dangerous and popular club drug “molly”, a form of MDMA. This summer there have been a rash of overdoses of the drug, which is commonly taken at music festivals – three of which, in New York City, were fatal. Schumer said that the use of the drug is increasing common and increasingly dangerous, because manufacturers of the illicit substances are mixing other, more dangerous ingredients into the batches. Schumer, who successfully led the charge to ban “bath salts”, another deadly chemical drug, laid out a two pronged approach to fight back. First he called on the New York and New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) group and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to bring a new focus onto molly labs. Second, Schumer announced he will push legislation that gives the federal government greater ability to ban the wide range of chemicals that go into the substance sold as MDMA or molly. Currently dealers are getting around federal law by slightly tweaking the chemical composition of substances that are banned.
“As this drug gets more popular, it also gets more dangerous as drug dealers cut it with increasingly deadly chemicals,” said Schumer. “We’ve begun to see the number of cases of overdoses and death rise this summer, and things are going to get far worse unless we take immediate and aggressive action.”
A comparison of the 2012 and 2013 Global Drug Surveys, conducted by an independent drug-use data agency, shows just how popular molly has become among drug users. In 2012, 26.5 percent of U.S. respondents had tried MDMA in the last 12 months. In 2013, the number jumped to 60.9 percent. (Over the same period, those who reported having tried cannabis rose from 69.3 percent to 88.4 percent.) A report by the Drug Abuse Warning Network shows that MDMA-related emergency visits have doubled since 2004. According to the World Drug Report, somewhere between 10 to 25 million people have tried the drug in one form or another. This summer, the danger of this drug came into sharp release when a rash of overdoses occurred. Two of them were fatal, and take place on New York City’s Randall’s Island during a music festival.
The first prong of Schumer’s plan calls for an increased focus on MDMA labs from the nation’s anti-drug organizations. Under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 and the ONDCP Reauthorization Act of 2006, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is authorized to declare areas that exhibit serious drug trafficking problems as HIDTAs following the successful petition by groups of local law enforcement. The counties in and around New York city are already HIDTA-designated counties, meaning that they get federal resources to combat drug trafficking and sales,
Law enforcement organizations within HIDTAs assess drug trafficking problems and design specific initiatives to reduce or eliminate the production, manufacture, transportation, distribution and chronic use of illegal drugs and money laundering. Through a combination of joint initiatives and resource and information sharing, the HIDTA program helps improve the effectiveness of drug control efforts. Schumer will call on this group to increase their focus on MDMA/molly.
The second prong of Schumer’s plan involves targeting the chemicals that go into substances sold as “molly”. Schumer will be pushing legislation sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to give greater authority to the federal government to target the wide range of chemicals that currently go into molly. In July 2012, Schumer legislation placed 26 synthetic drugs (including forms of K2, Spice and so-called “bath salts”) in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
While this was a vital step, illegal drug manufacturers can avoid federal scrutiny by “tweaking” the chemical formula. The Protecting Our Youth from Dangerous Synthetic Drugs Act of 2013 will combat this problem by creating an “Analogue Committee”, headed by DEA, responsible for establishing and maintaining a list of controlled substance analogues. This would be an interagency committee composed of chemists and pharmacologists from DEA, NIDA and CDC. This committee could ban substances that were similar in composition and effect to the 26 synthetic drugs already banned. Many of these “similar” substances are what is currently going into the molly sold on the street.
Schumer noted that he successfully led the charge for banning Bath Salts, a toxic drug that was wrecking havoc across New York. His legislation, signed into law by the president last year, permanently banned the deadly chemical compounds marketed and sold as bath salts and incense in the New York State and the United States. Schumer successfully fought to include three bills relating to synthetic substances – S. 409 (Bath Salts), S. 605 (Synthetic Marijuana) and S. 839 (Synthetic Hallucinogens) – as part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.