Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear signs law banning new synthetic drugs

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, March 23, 2011  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Jill Midkiff

Marketed as bath salts, drug mimics effects of Ecstasy, meth

FRANKFORT, Ky.– Governor Steve Beshear today signed into law a ban on new synthetic drugs the effects of which mimic those of Ecstasy and methamphetamine.

Commonly marketed as bath salts or plant food to disguise their actual purpose, the manufactured drugs MDPV and mephadrone can create delusions, paranoia and sometimes violent behavior. Users have been showing up with greater frequency in hospitals and emergency rooms across the state.

“This bill gives law enforcement another tool to protect Kentuckians from substances that are engineered specifically to mimic illegal dangerous drugs and allows Kentucky to keep pace with an ever-changing drug market,” Gov. Beshear said.

Under HB 121, sponsored by Rep. John Tilley, of Hopkinsville, manufacturing or trafficking in the substance is a Class A misdemeanor. Possession is a Class B misdemeanor.

“I’m proud to have again sponsored legislation which proves that Kentucky is a leader in banning toxic synthetic drugs being sold and marketed to our children,” said Rep. Tilley.

A similar ban on synthetic marijuana, also called Spice or K2, became law last year.  HB 121 further addresses the synthetic cannabinoid issue by banning similar chemicals that have been developed since passage of last year’s law.