NewsPublic Affairs / July 2, 2015

Court Hears Challenge to State's Synthetic Drug Law

An attorney for the plaintiffs -- two men charged with dealing synthetic drugs -- said the General Assembly’s broad delegation of rule-making authority to the pharmacy board violates the Indiana Constitution’s separation of powers. Indiana Supreme Court, synthetic drugs2015-07-02T00:00:00-04:00
Court Hears Challenge to State's Synthetic Drug Law

The state Supreme Court Thursday heard arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of Indiana’s law banning synthetic drugs.  

Lawmakers in 2012 gave the Board of Pharmacy the authority to create emergency rules, adding more synthetic drugs to the list of banned substances in the hopes of keeping up with synthetic drug manufacturers. 

Two men charged with dealing synthetic drugs challenged the law. Their attorney Mark Rutherford, representing them in front of the Supreme Court, said the General Assembly’s broad delegation of authority to the pharmacy board violates the Indiana Constitution’s separation of powers. He said the legislature should add banned substances to state statute itself.

“How they delegated was not specific enough to make it constitutional, where you have parameters about what it is you can or cannot do,” Rutherford said.

But the state’s attorney Ellen Meilaender said the 2012 law did provide guidelines, including defining synthetic drugs as a schedule one controlled substance.

“And they had said, by statute, that schedule one controlled substances are substances that have a high potential for abuse and that have no accepted medical use,” Meilaender said.

The Supreme Court did not provide a timetable for its ruling.

 

 

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