Wednesday, February 3, 2016

House panel OKs bill to combat synthetic drugs

(AP) — Legislation aimed at toughening penalties for trafficking and possessing synthetic drugs is headed toward the Kentucky House after winning bipartisan support from a committee.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill Wednesday after hearing from a sheriff who warned about the dangers posed by a synthetic drug infiltrating his community.

Lewis County Sheriff Johnny Bivens says the drug, known as Flakka, is the worst drug he's seen in his time in law enforcement. Bivens says his department seized nearly five pounds of Flakka in a six-month period.

Sometimes referred to as the "devil's drug," Flakka can cause delirium, paranoia, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and heart failure.

Bivens spoke in favor of a bill that would increase jail time for trafficking and possessing synthetic drugs.

The legislation is House Bill 4.