“If you think the Department of Justice has more than enough tools to wage the war on drugs, a bill passed by the House would create a fast-track scheduling system that could lead to the criminalization of kratom, nootropics, and pretty much anything that gives you a buzz and isn’t already illegal.
The House of Representatives voted on Friday to create a new schedule of banned drugs under the Controlled Substances Act, called “Schedule A,” and to give Attorney General Jeff Sessions broad new powers to criminalize the manufacturing, importation, and sale of substances that are currently unregulated, but not illegal. The bill is now headed to the Senate, where co-sponsors Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa) will likely have little problem whipping votes.
The Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogs Act, or SITSA, is intended to crack down on drugs that closely resemble currently banned or regulated substances in either their chemical structure or intended effects. SITSA would also empower the attorney general (A.G.) to add drugs to this new schedule with few checks from other branches of government.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has long bemoaned the fact that clandestine chemists can create these novel drugs faster than D.C. can ban them. The scheduling process is complicated, as it should be when the government makes things illegal: The DEA has to identify an analog’s chemical structure and the scheduled or regulated drug to which it’s most similar, then seek input from experts at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), then publish a scheduling notice in the Federal Register and review public comments. (Democracy can be such a drag!)
Prosecuting drugs that have not gone through this process of analysis and scheduling, meanwhile, requires overcoming what Sessions recently called”cumbersome evidentiary hurdles,” such as chemistry experts who challenge the government’s claims.
While Department of Justice (DOJ) complaints about analogs aren’t new, the rise of fentanyl analogs have inspired Congress to act more aggressively and clumsily than usual. The Senate version of SITSA introduced by Feinstein and Grassley gives the attorney general unilateral and unchecked power to add a substance to Schedule A. It contains no congressional review provision and vests no authority in the Department of Health and Human Services to challenge the DOJ’s scheduling decision.
When SITSA came up for a vote in the House, the House Liberty Caucus released a statementcondemning the decision to “cede more of Congress’s legislative authority to the Attorney General and grant the AG more power to fight the war on drugs, which has eroded federalism, eviscerated numerous individual rights, entrenched severe discrimination in our criminal justice system, and failed to meaningfully limit the proliferation of illicit drugs.”
In addition to creating a new class of Controlled Substances, both bills give the Justice Department unprecedented power to criminalize compounds that aren’t regulated by the FDA or already a Controlled Substance.”
Nearly half of these currently legal substances happen to be Hallucinogens, most of which are Psychedelic’s. Recently some States have been cracking down but they are still Federally legal. This bill has already passed the House and is waiting for a vote in the Senate. If this passes people who experiment with their own Consciousness will face up to 10 to 30 years in prison…
This is absolutely fucking ridiculous. They claim it’s because of the powerful synthetic Opiate Analogs, yet these have already been Federally Scheduled. And when new Opiate synthetics that are released are banned within 6 months. This bill will not do shit to stop the importation of Synthetics/Analogs. However it will further take the rights away of innocent people who chose what they consume into their own goddamn body’s…
Also the language of this bill is extremely vague. It will give the AG unprecedented authority to schedule any substance. Don’t let the name of the bill fool you. We shouldn’t just be asking them to add an amendment to protect Kratom. We should be asking them not to support this bill at all. As many natural & even synthetic substances are beneficial to many people. I know many here do not like anything synthetic. But let’s use Dimethlyrtryptamine for an example. The only actual difference between natural DMT & synthetic DMT, is that one is Synthesized by a plant & the latter is Synthesized by a human. There is absolutely no difference other than how they are manufactured…