Photo: U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency
State government and law enforcement officials will take part in an emergency meeting this week to address enforcement of Indiana’s synthetic drug laws.
Republican State Senator Jim Merritt called for the meeting after an Indianapolis teen was hospitalized after using synthetic drugs allegedly purchased at a local gas station. Participants will include representatives of the Indiana State Police, federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the state attorney general’s office, Indiana Sheriff’s Association and the Indiana Prosecuting Attorney’s Council.
Merritt says the meeting will allow all those groups to share ideas and solutions for eliminating synthetic drugs from the market.
“It’s very frustrating that we’ve been working on this for two-plus years, and I think we’ve solved some of the problem,” he says. “But obviously we haven’t got it done 100 percent.”
Indiana State Police spokesperson Tammy Watson says progress will be incremental and include policy, enforcement and legislative solutions. She says it is important to get input from a variety of sources because the answer will not always be putting people in jail.
“You may have a retailer that’s selling it, and in order to encourage them not to sell it, to get this off the street, to get it away from people that it’s killing, we may have to look at their retail license,” Watson says. “Let’s look at some other avenues.”
Watson says the state police will also encourage all law enforcement agencies to send confiscated synthetic drugs to a special lab that can quickly identify the components of the drug and get them banned by the state pharmacy board.