Assemblymember Ben Hueso announced the proposed law March 9, which bans possession of synthetic drugs in California. The bill, co-authored by Senator Juan Vargas (D-Chula Vista) and Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego), and sponsored by the community group People Against Spice Sales, serves as testament to its importance and broad support.
“This bill fulfills a promise I made to the community last year when we first took on this important public health and safety issue,” said Hueso. “I am committed to taking every step necessary to protect our youth and taking these dangerous drugs off the streets.”
Montana added that the bill includes provisions for education and cooperation. It will also allow schools to discipline students for possession on school grounds.
"This bill will allow schools and law enforcement work together to educate and protect our students from getting themselves into our hospitals and our morgues."
Synthetic drugs, commonly known as "Bath Salts” or “Spice” simulate the effects of other dangerous substances such as methamphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, PCP, and other drugs. However synthetic drugs are made up of powerful and toxic chemical compounds, and their use has been known to cause deaths, seizures, hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, increased heart rates and suicidal thoughts.
Last year, Hueso authored Assembly Bill 486, a new law that made it a misdemeanor to sell synthetic drugs. The law went into effect in October of last year. AB 2420 will provide additional protections to our communities by clarifying that possession of these toxic chemicals is illegal and ensuring that law enforcement has the ability to prosecute those who possess these dangerous drugs in our communities.
“As a parent and a legislator, I feel a sense of obligation to do everything we can to protect our children. I am proud to support this tough measure to provide better protections and enforcement against the use of harmful substances that have taken lives,” said Fletcher. “It’s critical legislation necessary to keep San Diego’s communities safe.”
“I’m pleased to be working with bipartisan members of California’s Legislature to ensure that public safety continues to be a top priority!” said Senator Vargas. “We were fortunate to get these dangerous substances off the shelves. Now, it’s time to eradicate them all together.”
AB 2420 has already received support from several local officials and law enforcement agencies such as the San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne, Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano, and the Mayor of Poway.