Judiciary Committee sends ‘flakka’ bill to House

February 3, 2016

 

Lewis County Sheriff Johnny Bivens speaks before the House Judiciary Committee in Frankfort. State Representative Rocky Adkins (left) is a member of that committee. - LRC Photo

Lewis County Sheriff Johnny Bivens speaks before the House Judiciary Committee in Frankfort. State Representative Rocky Adkins (left) is a member of that committee.
– LRC Photo

Lewis County Sheriff Johnny Bivens addressed the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee in Frankfort today (Wednesday, February 3, 2016) in favor of a stronger law to combat illegal synthetic drug trafficking.

The committee voted in support of the bill (House Bill 4) and to send it on to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The proposed law (House Bill 4) was first introduced in Lewis County in October when members of the House Judiciary Committee traveled here after Bivens gained widespread attention on his fight against “flakka”, a synthetic drug that has become a prevalent in Kentucky over the past couple of years.

Possession of synthetic drugs, such as flakka, only garners a class B misdemeanor charge against the offender. Those charges are punishable by up to 30 days in jail. Bivens has fought for changes to existing Kentucky laws to make possession of drugs such as flakka a felony with harsher penalties.

Bivens, who was named Kentucky’s 2015 Sheriff of the Year, said makers of illegal synthetic drugs have been able to stay a step ahead of the laws by making subtle changes to the ingredients. He hopes the proposed legislation will address that and have penalties attached that will deter the activities or, at least, get offenders off the street for longer periods.

Kentucky House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins said Bivens has worked extensively at having the laws catch up with the times, a reason the official announcement was made here in Lewis County and why Bivens traveled to Frankfort to speak in favor of the stronger legislation.

Adkins said the bill seeks to increase penalties for the unlawful trafficking of synthetic drugs in an effort to fight the dramatic rise in their use in various areas around the Commonwealth.

Bivens said flakka and similar illegal drugs have been shown to cause a range of extreme symptoms including paranoia, violent behavior and death.

LINK TO HOUSE BILL 4

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