Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Bill Would Increase Penalties for Synthetic Drugs

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 2014 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.

Most Read This Week

October 17, 2014 11004

UK Women's Soccer Welcomes Ole Miss, No. 5/4…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
October 14, 2014 3630

Man Tries to Beat Train, Two Life-Lined to…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office
October 15, 2014 3039

Family Business, Graphics Pros to Open Friday

in Top News For All Sites by Shawn Freels
October 14, 2014 3033

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 14, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 15, 2014 2943

Chamber Meeting and More Announced

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Dorothy Walker
October 14, 2014 2758

Hopkins County Traffic Advisory

in Hopkins News by Keith Todd
October 15, 2014 2722

Woman Arrested for Domestic Dispute in the Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 15, 2014 2690

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 15, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 17, 2014 2622

Single Vehicle Collision Results in One Injury

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S. C. Recke
October 17, 2014 2438

Woman Arrested at Taco Bell for DUI

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Trending Now

October 18, 2014 1890

Muhlenberg County Celebrates New Farmer’s Market

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 19, 2014 1539

Kentucky Energy Department Releases Virtual Solar…

in General News For All Sites by Dick Brown
October 18, 2014 1435

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
October 18, 2014 1429

Grace Warehouse Hosts Singing Benefit for a White…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
October 18, 2014 1388

Hooked on Science - Bloody Handprint

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
October 18, 2014 1370

Research Important When Choosing a Charity

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
October 18, 2014 1357

Kentucky's Jobless Rate Plummets to 6.7 Percent;…

in General News For All Sites by Kim Brannock
October 18, 2014 1351

Keeping the Faith - 'Dancing, not Marching'

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
October 18, 2014 1303

How Senior Donors Can Avoid Scams

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
October 18, 2014 969

Ladies Night Out - West

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

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss