DANGEROUS SYNTHETIC DRUG CONTROL ACT OF 2016; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 145
(House of Representatives - September 26, 2016)

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              DANGEROUS SYNTHETIC DRUG CONTROL ACT OF 2016

  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 3537) to amend the Controlled Substances Act to clarify how 
controlled substance analogues are to be regulated, and for other 
purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 3537

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Dangerous Synthetic Drug 
     Control Act of 2016''.

[[Page H5872]]

  


     SEC. 2. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN DESIGNER DRUGS AS SCHEDULE I 
                   CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES.

       (a) Cannabimimetic Agents.--Schedule I, as set forth in 
     section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 
     812(c)), is amended in subsection (d)(2)(B)--
       (1) in clause (xiv) by striking ``and'' at the end;
       (2) in clause (xv) by striking the period and inserting a 
     semicolon; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(xvi) 2-(2-methylphenyl)-1-(1-pentyl-1H-indol-3-
     yl)ethanone (JWH-251);
       ``(xvii) (1-butyl-1H-indol-3-yl)(4-methylnaphthalen-1-
     yl)methanone (4'-methyl JWH-073);
       ``(xviii) 2-(3-methoxyphenyl)-1-(1-pentyl-1H-indol-3-
     yl)ethanone (JWH-302);
       ``(xix) N-(adamantan-1-yl)-1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-
     carboxamide (5F-APICA);
       ``(xx) quinolin-8-yl 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-
     carboxylate (5F-PB-22);
       ``(xxi) N-(1-amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-
     indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-PINACA);
       ``(xxii) N-(naphthalen-1-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indole-3-
     carboxamide (MN-24);
       ``(xxiii) (1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazol-3-yl)(naphthalen-
     1-yl)methanone (THJ-2201);
       ``(xxiv) N-(1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-
     1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (ADBICA);
       ``(xxv) methyl 2-(1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-
     carboxamido)-3-methylbutanoate (5F-AMB); and
       ``(xxvi) methyl 2-(1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indazole-3-
     carboxamido)-3-methylbutanoate (MA-CHMINACA).''.
       (b) Synthetic Opioids.--Schedule I, as set forth in section 
     202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)), 
     is amended in subsection (a) by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(43) Butyryl fentanyl.
       ``(44) beta-Hydroxythiofentanyl.
       ``(45) Acetyl fentanyl.''.
       (c) Other Drugs.--Schedule I, as set forth in section 
     202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)), 
     is amended in subsection (c) by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(29) 1-(naphthalen-1-yl)-2-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)pentan-1-one 
     (a-naphyrone).
       ``(30) 1-(2,3-dihydrobenzofuran-5-yl)propan-2-amine (5-
     APDB).
       ``(31) 1-(2,3-dihydrobenzofuran-6-yl)propan-2-amine (6-
     APDB).
       ``(32) 6,7-dihydro-5H-indeno[5,6-d][1,3]dioxol-6-amine 
     (MDAI).
       ``(33) 5-iodo-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-2-amine (5-IAI).
       ``(34) 1-(4-bromofuro[2,3-f]benzofuran-8-yl)propan-2-amine 
     (bromo-dragonfly).
       ``(35) 1-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)propan-2-amine 
     (DOC).
       ``(36) 1-(4-ethoxy-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)propan-2-amine 
     (MEM).''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie) and the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.


                             General Leave

  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and insert extraneous materials into the Record on the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Kentucky?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3537, the Dangerous 
Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2016. I want to specifically acknowledge 
Congressman Dent from Pennsylvania and Congressman Katko from New York 
for their tireless leadership on this issue and the teamwork it took to 
get this bill through the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and to 
the floor today.
  According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA, abuse and 
misuse of designer synthetic drugs is an ongoing threat to public 
health and safety. These chemical compounds are often designed in 
overseas laboratories to mimic the effects of illicit drugs and known 
controlled substances. Criminals who develop and market them in 
communities across our country have been able to stay one step ahead of 
the DEA since--while they are designed to closely resemble controlled 
substances--they are not currently scheduled.
  H.R. 3537 will add 22 such compounds to schedule I of the Controlled 
Substances Act, immediately strengthening the DEA's ability to take 
swift action and get them off our streets. The compounds on this list 
include those that are marketed as K2, or Spice, as well as fentanyl 
derivatives estimated to be 100 times more powerful than morphine and 
linked to many overdoses and deaths.
  In addition to the DEA, I would like to thank the Office of National 
Drug Control Policy, FDA, NIH, and those in the research community who 
helped review and revise this list of synthetics as part of the 
legislative process.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                                         House of Representatives,


                                   Committee on the Judiciary,

                               Washington, DC, September 26, 2016.
     Hon. Fred Upton,
     Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Upton: I write with respect to H.R. 3537, the 
     ``Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2015,'' which was referred to 
     the Committee on Energy and Commerce and in addition to the 
     Committee on the Judiciary. As a result of your having 
     consulted with us on provisions within H.R. 3537 that fall 
     within the Rule X jurisdiction of the Committee on the 
     Judiciary, I agree to discharge our committee from further 
     consideration of this bill so that it may proceed 
     expeditiously to the House floor for consideration.
       The Judiciary Committee takes this action with our mutual 
     understanding that by foregoing consideration of H.R. 3537 at 
     this time, we do not waive any jurisdiction over subject 
     matter contained in this or similar legislation and that our 
     committee will be appropriately consulted and involved as 
     this bill or similar legislation moves forward so that we may 
     address any remaining issues in our jurisdiction. Our 
     committee also reserves the right to seek appointment of an 
     appropriate number of conferees to any House-Senate 
     conference involving this or similar legislation and asks 
     that you support any such request.
       I would appreciate a response to this letter confirming 
     this understanding with respect to H.R. 3537 and would ask 
     that a copy of our exchange of letters on this matter be 
     included in the Congressional Record during floor 
     consideration of H.R. 3537.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Bob Goodlatte,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                             Committee on Energy and Commerce,

                               Washington, DC, September 26, 2016.
     Hon. Bob Goodlatte,
     Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Goodlatte: Thank you for your letter 
     regarding H.R. 3537, the ``Synthetic Drug Control Act of 
     2015.'' As you noted, there are provisions of the bill that 
     fall within the Committee on the Judiciary's Rule X 
     jurisdiction.
       I appreciate your willingness to forgo consideration of 
     H.R. 3537, and I agree that your decision is not a waiver of 
     any of the Committee on the Judiciary's jurisdiction over the 
     subject matter contained in this or similar legislation, and 
     that the Committee will be appropriately consulted and 
     involved as this bill or similar legislation moves forward. 
     In addition, I understand that the Committee reserves the 
     right to seek the appointment of an appropriate number of 
     conferees to any House-Senate conference involving this or 
     similar legislation, and you will have my support for any 
     such request.
       I will include a copy of your letter and this response in 
     the Congressional Record during floor consideration of H.R. 
     3537.
           Sincerely,
                                                       Fred Upton,
                                                         Chairman.

  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  H.R. 3537, the Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act, is bipartisan 
legislation sponsored by Mr. Dent of Pennsylvania and also by 
Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut. It is a targeted approach to 
addressing the latest threat from synthetic substances that is causing 
dangerous drug abuse across our communities, and I support its swift 
passage.
  Sadly, stories of adults and teenagers abusing synthetic substances 
to get high have become all too common and have resulted in individuals 
either harming themselves or others. These drugs are extremely unsafe 
and can cause convulsions, anxiety attacks, hallucinations, psychotic 
episodes, and, in some instances, death.
  The rise of synthetic drug use is an issue we have been dealing with 
for many years now in my home State of New Jersey. Frightening 
increases in overdoses and deaths throughout the State from so-called 
designer drugs led New Jersey to permanently ban synthetic marijuana in 
2012. However, synthetic marijuana, commonly referred to as ``K2'' or 
``Spice,'' is still being sold illegally in my State and others and 
sends many to the emergency room every week. Last year, according to 
data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, New 
Jersey logged 142 emergency calls, the ninth-most in the Nation, for 
exposure to synthetic marijuana.
  Despite the devastating impact of these substances, they are, 
unfortunately, not illegal and, as a result, are

[[Page H5873]]

too readily available. Under its current authority, the Drug 
Enforcement Agency, or DEA, has difficulty taking action against 
manufacturers of these substances. By swiftly engineering and 
reengineering these synthetic compounds, manufacturers have been able 
to avoid regulation under the Controlled Substances Act.
  H.R. 3537 would schedule a narrow list of 22 synthetic substances, 
including 11 used to create synthetic marijuana, and three derivatives 
of fentanyl--a synthetic opioid that is more powerful than morphine. 
This targeted legislation was developed with input from the DEA, the 
Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute on Drug 
Abuse, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy to ensure that 
these substances with known abuse potential have no therapeutic value 
and, therefore, should be appropriately moved to schedule I.
  I believe that this legislation will enable the DEA to take needed 
enforcement actions against manufacturers of these dangerous 
substances.
  While the bill does not address the broader concerns that have been 
raised related to access to schedule I substances for research 
purposes, I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues on 
the other side of the aisle, as well as the administration, and 
stakeholders to find ways we can streamline the registration process 
for legitimate research purposes.
  I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 3537. I thank, again, 
Congressman Himes, and I look forward to continue to work with my 
colleagues to reduce the availability of dangerous synthetic 
substances.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Dent).
  Mr. DENT. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Chairman Upton; Ranking 
Member Pallone; Messrs. Guthrie, Katko, and Himes; Eleanor Holmes 
Norton; and Congressman Jolly, all for helping to bring this bipartisan 
bill up today in order to officially identify these dangerous synthetic 
substances and address the public health crisis presented by their 
continued proliferation throughout the country.
  I have been working for several years to bring attention to the very 
serious threat that synthetic drugs pose to the health and safety of 
communities both within Pennsylvania and across our Nation.
  Although initially successful after placing a number of synthetic 
cannabinoids on schedule I and enhancing the DEA's authorities to 
protect the public from these drugs through legislation that was signed 
into law in 2012, we have begun to see a renewed rise in both the 
number of new substances on the streets and the number of victims 
affected by these products. This bill simply adds 22 compounds to 
schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, and these are, frankly, 
the very worst of the worst compounds out there.
  The products targeted by this bill are primarily labeled as synthetic 
marijuana, bath salts, or synthetic opioids, which are sold under the 
labels like K2, Spice, and Flakka that allow them to be marketed to 
unsuspecting young people and some of the most vulnerable members of 
our society.
  Through modifications to the chemical formulas of these drugs, their 
overseas manufacturers have been able to continue to push them on to 
victims under the false impression that they are safe, despite often 
being even more potent than the drugs they are designed to mimic.
  Without action--like the step we are taking here today to pass this 
critical bill and designate these substances as the dangerous and 
abusive products that they are--we will continue to see more overdoses, 
more victims, and, sadly, more deaths.
  Just this month, there was a gruesome killing in my district that was 
fueled by the ingestion of the synthetic drug known as Flakka--
absolutely gruesome. My friend, Congressman Himes, can talk about a 
situation very close to him, too, where there was a tragedy.
  Unfortunately, data from our health centers, law enforcement 
entities, and poison control offices show that such cases have become 
more and more prevalent around the country, and I applaud this 
proactive action to stop further proliferation.
  I should note that when we passed a law in 2012, we did shut down so 
much of these synthetic drugs that were being sold. We shut it down. 
But these folks overseas have figured out ways to reformulate these 
compounds, and this problem is back with us today again. We had shut it 
down. It is back with us, and this is a step that we are taking.
  So, again, I would also like to thank all of these bipartisan 
cosponsors for their partnership in this effort and their commitment to 
work together to address this public health epidemic by getting these 
dangerous substances off the streets.
  Finally, I would like to mention one other thing, too--that this bill 
has gone through an extensive regular order process. There has been a 
hearing, subcommittee markup, and a full committee markup. The bill is 
the result of negotiations between the DEA, researchers, and many 
others. Organizations like the American Hospital Association, the 
American College of Emergency Room Physicians, the Fraternal Order of 
Police, the National Association of Convenience Stores, and Former 
Special Agents of the FBI all support and endorse this bill.
  So, finally, I urge my colleagues to support passage of this 
important legislation today so we can save lives. I will continue my 
efforts to educate the public about the dangers of these synthetic 
drugs and to protect our communities.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Himes), the Democratic sponsor of the 
bill.
  Mr. HIMES. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Pallone for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Dangerous Synthetic Drug 
Control Act, which will reclassify 22 dangerous synthetic substances as 
schedule I substances subject to the control and enforcement associated 
with schedule I substances.
  Mr. Speaker, the community I represent, like every community 
represented in this Chamber, has been visited by the tragedy of fatal 
drug overdoses. We know the statistics nationally--opioid deaths are in 
the 30,000 neighborhood. That is a tragedy around the country.
  The substances that we reclassify today include some of the fentanyl 
substances that are often associated with the most gruesome overdoses 
often mixed with heroin.
  My colleagues will remember that fentanyl is the drug actually 
responsible for the overdose death of the musician Prince and, sadly, 
is pervasive through our communities.
  The synthetic drugs that are being scheduled today through this bill 
are particularly pernicious because they are marketed often in corner 
retail establishments and often in ways designed to appeal to young 
people in colored packages with names like K2 and Spice, clearly 
targeting our youngest constituents.
  We are engaged, of course, in a cat-and-mouse game with the producers 
of these substances because as soon as a substance is scheduled, a 
chemist somewhere figures out a slight alteration to the formula in 
such a way that now they have a drug which is untested and unproven but 
mimics some of the effects of a scheduled drug; but we have no idea 
what the effects are, and all too often those effects can be 
devastating to the individual using them.

                              {time}  1430

  This bill, again, will take 22 of those dangerous substances and 
classify them into schedule I. This is going to make my community in 
southwestern Connecticut safer, and it will make communities throughout 
this country safer.
  I really want to thank, in particular, Congressman Dent for his very 
hard work on this, and Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Pallone for 
expediting this bill in a way that I know is going to make a very 
positive difference in our communities.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I urge support for the legislation.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I encourage the adoption of this bill.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 
3537, the so-called Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2016.

[[Page H5874]]

  The legislation would add 22 synthetic drugs to Schedule I of the 
Controlled Substances Act. While some of these drugs may be indeed 
dangerous to the public, we know very little about many of them and 
adding them to Schedule I would seriously hinder research.
  Furthermore, by adding these synthetic drugs to Schedule I, the 
legislation would significantly expand the mandatory minimum found in 
title 21, section 841(b)(1)(C) of the U.S. Code. If an individual is 
convicted of selling, distributing, or making one of these drugs, he 
would be subject to a 20 year mandatory minimum sentence if someone is 
seriously injured or dies from using these drugs.
  And it doesn't stop there. Adding these synthetic drugs to Schedule I 
would also subject this 20 year mandatory minimum to other individuals 
that may get wrapped up in a drug conspiracy, per title 21, section 
846. Technically, a girlfriend that takes a phone message or drives her 
drug dealer boyfriend to a drug deal for one of these synthetic drugs 
could be included in the boyfriend's drug conspiracy and be subject to 
the same 20 year mandatory minimum if someone is seriously injured or 
dies from using the drugs involved in the conspiracy.
  An individual who has intentionally sold, distributed, or 
manufactured these synthetic drugs, if they are indeed dangerous, 
should be held criminally responsible if someone is harmed or dies 
using them. However, I believe a judge, not Congress, should be the one 
determining the sentence based on the individual facts and 
circumstances.
  For decades now, research and evidence has demonstrated that 
mandatory minimums are ineffective deterrents, waste the taxpayers' 
money, force judges to impose irrational sentences, and discriminate 
against minorities, particularly with regards to drug offenses. 
Unfortunately, there are already too many mandatory minimums in the 
federal code.
  Mr. Speaker, many Americans wonder how low level drug offenders get 
decades long sentences. It's because of bills like this that there are 
thousands of low level, non-violent, first time offenders serving 
decades behind bars. If we ever expect to do anything about that 
problem and actually address the drivers of mass incarceration 
generally, the first step we have to take is to stop passing new 
mandatory minimums or bills that expand existing mandatory minimums. 
The mandatory minimums in the code today did not get there all at 
once--they got there one at a time, each one part of a larger bill, 
which on balance might have been a good idea. Therefore, the only way 
to stop passing new mandatory minimums is to stop passing bills that 
contain mandatory minimums.
  For these reasons, I urge my colleagues to vote No on H.R. 3537.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, today, I will vote against H.R. 3537. No 
doubt many of these substances are horrific, and none of us wants to 
see people abusing them. DEA can act on these drugs, has a process to 
do it, and should start down that path immediately. However, if we are 
going to deal with Schedule I, the first thing we should do is 
eliminate marijuana from Schedule I, which enabled the failed policy of 
prohibition. Political interference is what got us here in the first 
place, and we should fix it.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 3537, as amended.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. AMASH. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

                          ____________________