New Bill Would Help Local Law Enforcement Fight Opioids
SALTS Act would make it easier to prosecute the sale and distribution of synthetic drugs
DULUTH, Minn. – A new bill is awaiting the President’s signature that would help local law enforcement fight the opioid epidemic.
It’s called the Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances (SALTS) Act. It passed the senate last week.
The bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Minn.) would allow law enforcement to pursue drug charges even if the specific chemical compound in that drug isn’t on the illegal drug list.
“Just because they slap a label on it that says ‘not for human consumption’ it doesn’t mean that they weren’t trying to sell it for human consumption and that’s what they do,” explained Klobuchar. “That’s what they did at Last Place on Earth, that’s what you’re seeing today.”
Law enforcement could bring charges based on other factors like marketing and price.
One example is if a dealer was charging a price for a product that supposed to be “bath salts” that is much higher than the cost of the products truly meant to be used only as bath salts.
“If they find something in the lab that’s a little bit different than the drug we suspected it to be, then we have to change the charge that we might be bringing,” said St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin. “That’s why the legislation is important, because it helps us identify these other compounds.”
The bill has bipartisan support to fight the opioid epidemic that took 172 lives last year in Minnesota alone.