Elks National Drug Awareness Program




June 21, 2012

WHAT: Support Federal Legislation to Prohibit the Sale of Synthetic Drugs.


ACTION: Call or email your State Senators and ask them to vote for S. 3187 when the bill comes before the United States Senate next week.  


WHEN: Take action by Tuesday, June 26th.



  • Synthetic Drugs:
    • Are chemical compounds that when smoked, ingested, or otherwise consumed cause symptoms similar to those of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and other illegal substances.
    • Are marketed as legal substances under the general names of "herbal incense" and "bath salts" and product names including "K2", "Spice", "Vanilla Sky", and "Ivory Wave".
    • Are sold in small packets over the Internet, in tobacco and smoke shops, drug paraphernalia shops, gas stations, and convenience stores and are marked "not for human consumption" in order to avoid FDA oversight. 
    • Are attractive to those seeking a "legal high" - often allowing them to pass workplace or other mandatory drug screenings.
    • Are especially attractive to young people - recent data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicated that one in nine high school seniors had used K2 or Spice in the last year. Use of synthetics has resulted in increasing public health and safety problems in New Hampshire, including the recent emergency room admissions of high school youth with acute psychotic symptoms.  
  • Since the fall of 2011, the United States House of Representatives and Senate have each been working on legislation to address the serious problem of synthetic drugs.  Last week, the House and Senate reached agreement on the provisions of the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 which will require a broad range of synthetic marijuana and bath salt products to be placed on Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act - this means that it will be illegal to possess or sell them. 
  • The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 is included as a section of a much larger piece of federal legislation - S. 3187 (the "Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act" or FDASIA").
  • S. 3187 passed the United States House of Representatives on June 20th by a voice vote and now moves to the Senate.
  • The United States Senate could vote on S. 3187 as early as Tuesday, June 26th.

For more information,  Synthetic Drugs Page.




  • Contact your state Senator and:
    • Thank them if they supported S. 3187 when it came through the Senate in May.
    • Ask them for their continued support of S. 3187 when it comes back to the Senate during the week of June 25th.
    • In speaking about S. 3187, note that this bill includes the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 which contains significant restrictions on synthetic drugs - a serious and growing problem.


HAVE QUESTIONS OR NEED MORE INFORMATION? Check out the Synthetic Drugs Issues Page website.