Thursday, January 29, 2015
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.

Posted on 2/2/14
2/6/2014 - posted

In Other News...

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – Jan. 28, 2015

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (1/28/15) — The above photos are local fugitives that are currently being sought by local… Read More

Group Organizing Prayer Circle for Youth

NORTONVILLE, Ky. (1/29/15) — A group of parents have organized a public community prayer circle out of concern for area… Read More
2/6/2014 - posted

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 15947

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 23, 2015 9847

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 6729

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 25, 2015 6604

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 23, 2015 6061

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 28, 2015 5762

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 23, 2015 4833

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 4454

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 21661

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

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 21410

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

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

Stories Trending Today

January 28, 2015 15947

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 5762

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 28, 2015 3653

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 2449

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 28, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 27, 2015 2279

Whitfield Works to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby
January 28, 2015 1999

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 1959

UPDATE - Students Have until Jan. 31 to Enter…

in General News For All Sites by James R. Comer
January 28, 2015 1689

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 28, 2015 1306

Old City Hall Space to be 'First United Bank…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 1232

Kentucky Lottery Results for Tuesday Jan. 27, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Kentucky Lottery
January 28, 2015 1226

Letter to the Editor - Month of Mentors

in Hopkins News by Mallory D. Johnson
January 28, 2015 1102

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - January 28, 2015

in Video by Crime Stoppers