M E M O R A N D U M
To: Reporters and editors
Re: New report on so-called synthetic marijuana
Da: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa was the sponsor of legislation signed into law that bans chemicals used to make so-called synthetic marijuana. Grassley’s measure is named for David Rozga, an 18-year-old Iowan who committed suicide shortly after trying the product, bought from a local store. A federal government report released today shows that these drugs prompted thousands of emergency room visits in 2010, and that young men constituted the majority of visits. Grassley made the following comment on today’s report, which is available here.
“Many of these products are no longer available for sale. Still, cynical manufacturers are evading the federal ban by altering chemicals or ignoring the ban altogether. Anyone who might be tempted to try this drug should realize its use can end in tragedy, such as the loss of my constituent, David Rozga. And scores of others who survive go to the emergency room with ‘agitation, nausea, vomiting, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), elevated blood pressure, tremor, seizures, hallucinations, paranoid behavior and non-responsiveness.’ This report underscores that a federal ban was right to protect public safety.”