House Judiciary Committee approves two bills to curb synthetic, Rx drug abuse

Cracking down on drugs is one of the most pressing topics of the 2012 General Assembly, and lawmakers showed they were serious about it this afternoon. (Associated Press photo by Ed Reinke of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville)

In an effort to get a handle on prescription drug abuse — and so-called pill mills that supply the addictive medications — the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that will place controls on pain management clinics, reports Jack Brammer of the Lexington Herald-Leader. House Bill 4 also puts the power to police the problem into the hands of the attorney general; cracks down on prescribers who have had trouble with the law for drug-related crime; requires that the clinics be owned by people who have a medical background; and will get a detailed look at how many deaths are occurring by having coroners report any death caused from the use of drugs or drug overdoses.
“We don’t really know how bad (the problem) is,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo, the Prestonsburg Democrat who filed the bill. “I think it will astound us when we get the results in because I think it might double what we think the numbers are.”
The committee also approved House Bill 482, which prohibits trafficking and possession of synthetic drugs that are sold as bath salts or incense in convenience stores and other places. The measure, sponsored by committee chairman John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, was passed unanimously.
Both bills will now go to the full House for consideration. (Read more)
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