Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Hopkins- Co AttyState Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville, explains a HB 495, which he filed Feb. 27, which will enhance the penalties for possession and trafficking of synthetic drugs. (SurfKY Photo/Rita Dukes Smith)
MADISONVILLE, Ky. (3/4/14) — State Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville, announced a new bill that would increase penalties for possession and trafficking of synthetic drugs.

The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon at the Hopkins County Attorney's office in downtown Madisonville.

Waide, 10th District representative, called a press conference to explain HB 495, co-written by him and state Rep. Myron Dossett. He was joined by County Attorney Todd P'Pool and Madisonville Police Chief Wade Williams.

Each spoke of the dangers of synthetic drugs and how they're being consumed.

“Recently, I was contacted by prosecutors here in Hopkins County,” said Waide. “We talked a lot about the increase in use in synthetic drugs — not just synthetic marijuana but all synthetic drugs.”

Waide said that in 2012, a groundbreaking legislation was passed, which made a difference for law enforcement in the state. But after consulting with various groups, Waide believes that measure is not enough.

“Last week, I met with Terry Mosser, who is the Kentucky state coordinator for drug evaluation and classification at Eastern Kentucky University,” said Waide. “He was expressing to me his concern because of the rise in the use of electronic cigarettes, we now have a very simple and user-friendly delivery device for these synthetic drugs.”

Waide said users take synthetic drugs and place them in the electronic cigarettes, which appear to be legal nicotine-based products.

Since the synthetic drugs don't show up in typical urine tests, it's become prolific and poses many dangers.

“When you pass a bill you hope that it has a positive effect, and we know that our 2012 bill had a positive effect,” said Waide. “I talked with two doctors from Baptist Health, and they said, 'Ben, I've seen a patient that had just taken this drug one time. And, a month later, he's still psychotic.' So, we really do have to do something at this point to make it more difficult for these folks to use synthetic drugs.”

HB 495 would be an amendment to KRS 218A.1430.

It would restructure the weight of the charge for trafficking in synthetic drugs.

Instead of a Class A Misdemeanor, it would become a Class D Felony for the first offense if the amount trafficked is one ounce or greater, and a Class A Misdemeanor if the amount trafficked is less than one ounce. Regardless of the amount trafficked, it would be a Class C Felony for each subsequent offense.

After Waide's announcement, the county attorney addressed the press.

“I want to applaud Rep. Waide for this piece of legislation,” said P'Pool. “It will clearly make Kentucky a safer place. It will make families safer across the Commonwealth. This bill actually enhances the penalty for possession and trafficking of synthetic cannabis. That is a manufactured chemical that is as deadly as meth.”

P'Pool quoted statistics about Hopkins County drug deaths and the increase in synthetic drug deaths.

Williams explained a bust that occurred in 2012 that revolved around synthetic marijuana or cannabinoid.

“What's the scary part is the instant and lasting effects of these drugs,” said Williams. “It's starting to become more and more popular with the young and middle aged thinking it's not as dangerous as some other drug. But we are seeing from the street, more serious consequences from this drug than we've ever seen from anything.”

Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKy News Director

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Mary Roberts Steps into Role as Lactation Consultant at MCCH

MURRAY, Ky. (1/31/15) — After numerous years working with newborns and their parents, Mary Roberts, RN, has moved to… Read More

Mid Town Commons Commercial Plat Plan Approved by Hopkins Planning Commission

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (01/31/15) — The Hopkins County Joint Planning Commission met at its regularly scheduled meeting… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 18110

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 9230

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 28, 2015 7264

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 6848

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 25, 2015 6529

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 28, 2015 6399

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 6278

Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 6129

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 23631

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 23220

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 31, 2015 6129

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 30, 2015 5977

More Than 800 Gather to Encircle HCCHS

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 1495

UPDATED GAME STORY: Muhlenberg Mustangs Trample…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Mike Groves
January 30, 2015 1361

Governor, First Lady, Commissioner Celebrate New…

in Top News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
January 31, 2015 1183

Eating Only during 9-12 Hour Period May Help…

in General News For All Sites by Melissa Landon
January 31, 2015 1058

Hooked on Science - 'Chemical Reaction Splash'

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
January 31, 2015 1049

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 984

Woman Veterans Video Now on KDVA YouTube

in General News For All Sites by Lisa Aug
January 31, 2015 924

Keeping the Faith - 'Will Practice Make Perfect?'

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
January 31, 2015 721

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in Owensboro News by Keith Todd
January 31, 2015 720

Merle Travis Fans Pay Tribute to Thumbpicking…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 547

Local Church Offering Food for Body, Mind, Spirit

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News