SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a unanimous vote on Tuesday by the Illinois House of Representatives to approve an amendment that would help to combat synthetic drug use in the state.
The House vote to amend the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act occurred on the same day that staff from Madigan's office joined law enforcement agencies in Fulton and Mason counties to remove nearly 2,000 synthetic drug packages worth approximately $33,000 from area retail stores.
"The dramatic rise of synthetic drug use in Illinois has created a unique and difficult challenge for law enforcement," Madigan said. "My office is working both with the legislature and local law enforcement agencies to provide tools and resources to stop the spread of these potentially deadly drugs."
House Bill 5233 targets the retail sale of synthetic drugs by defining synthetic drug products as those that contain a controlled substance not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The bill says that the drugs are sold in packages with misleading labels that claim the products are legal. Additionally, the bill makes it illegal under the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act to sell synthetic drugs and significantly increases the penalty for selling misbranded drugs or synthetic drug products.
Members of the Madigan's office and law enforcement agencies in Fulton and Mason counties conducted the latest Operation Smoke Out, during which 1,822 packages of synthetics worth a street value of $33,743.95 were relinquished.
The locations raided included Farmington Gas in Farmington, with 221 packages relinquished with a value of $5,821.51, The Brick Tavern in Bath relinquished 10 packages with a value of $150, Happy Hour Liquors relinquished 926 packages with a value of $13,890 and Smokers Paradise and Shandi's in Canton relinquished 665 packages with a value of $13,882.44.