COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the development of an administrative rule on Thursday meant to permanently ban two new chemicals being abused as synthetic drugs.
The rule classifies the compounds known as 5F-PB-22 and PB-22 as schedule I controlled substances, making the sale and use of the compounds illegal in Ohio. While the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration temporarily scheduled the compounds as illegal in February, the new rule makes the state ban permanent.
The rule also bans the use and sale of any compound with the same basic chemical structure, even for compounds that have not yet been created.
"Anyone found selling or purchasing these compounds in Ohio is breaking the law, and you will face the consequences," DeWine said. "Drugs, whether they are synthetic drugs or street drugs like heroin, are wreaking havoc on Ohio families. This is just one example of the ongoing efforts by my office to prevent further devastation due to drug abuse."
The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy has the authority to classify compounds as controlled substances through an administrative rule process if the substances have a high potential for abuse. The process avoids the need to go through the General Assembly every time a new synthetic drug is created.
"We are grateful for the help of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and their willingness to partner with us in the goal to permanently ban newly created synthetic drugs," DeWine said. "The standard process for banning these substances, however, takes far too long, which is why we are asking the legislature to give the attorney general's office emergency authority to ban new synthetic drugs as soon as new chemicals of concern come into our lab."
The legislation, which is currently in development, would allow DeWine temporary emergency scheduling authority for any compound thought to be an imminent hazard to public safety. The emergency bans would last at least one year, while the administrative rule or legislative process could proceed at its normal speed to decide if the ban should be permanent.