Synthetic Drugs and "Legal Highs": Establish Restrictions But Don't Criminalize Them

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February 21, 2014

A series of synthetic products have emerged that simulate the effects of prohibited drugs like marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine. Often called “legal highs” or “research chemicals” and largely unregulated, these drugs may cause considerably more harm than the substances they are designed to mimic. While states and Congress have rushed to prohibit these chemicals, manufacturers have simply invented new variations of the same substances to skirt the bans. DPA advocates for the responsible regulation of new synthetic drugs and for ending drug war policies like marijuana prohibition that have led to the emergence of these substances.

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