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CS/SB 294 — Controlled Substances

by Appropriations Committee and Senator Bradley

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Criminal Justice Committee (CJ)

A recent trend in drug abuse is the creation of chemical compounds called “synthetic drugs.” These drugs mimic the effects of cocaine, methamphetamine, and hallucinogens and have significant, and often dangerous, side effects. Unless these drugs are scheduled as controlled substances, sellers of these drugs will avoid arrest and prosecution. For this reason, in 2011 and 2012, the Legislature identified and scheduled synthetic drugs as Schedule I controlled substances.

The bill is a continuation of the Legislature’s efforts to schedule synthetic drugs as they are identified. The bill codifies the Schedule I scheduling of the substances listed in the Attorney General’s emergency rule issued on December 11, 2012, that temporarily scheduled several new synthetic cannabinoids, cathinones, and phenethylamines as Schedule I controlled substances. The Attorney General filed this emergency rule to address the public safety risk of new synthetic substances being sold and abused in Florida. As a result of this scheduling, persons who engage in certain unlawful acts involving these substances may be subject to arrest and prosecution.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 118-0