Press Release

Separating Fact From Fiction: What You Need to Know About Synthetic Drugs

Wednesday Teleconference: Leading Experts Share Insight on Synthetic Cannabinoids, “Flakka”, “Bath Salts”, and Other New Psychoactive Substances

Could Strict Regulatory Restrictions Be More Effective Than Criminalization For Protecting Public Safety and Health?

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<p>Tony Newman 646-335-5384<br />
Jag Davies 786-393-8100</p>

UPDATE: Listen to the teleconference.

In recent years, a series of 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”, these new psychoactive substances are largely unregulated and may cause more harm than the substances they are designed to mimic.  While states and Congress have rushed to prohibit these substances, manufacturers have simply invented new variations to skirt the bans.

What do we actually know about these “new” and “emerging” drugs?  When it comes to these substances – some of which have been around for many years – how do we separate the science from the media panic?  What options are available to policymakers looking to act in the best interests of public safety and health? And what lessons have we learned from regulating other substances such as alcohol and tobacco?

WHAT:  Press Teleconference: What You Need to Know About Synthetic Drugs

WHEN:  Wednesday, July 29: 1pm (Eastern) / 10am (Pacific)

HOW:  Contact Tony Newman for call-in info.


  • Fire Erowid, Executive Director, Erowid Center
  • Earth Erowid, Technical Director, Erowid Center
  • Representative Roger Goodman, Washington State House of Representatives
  • Stefanie Jones, Nightlife Community Engagement Manager, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Joseph Palamar, Assistant Professor, New York University Langone Medical Center, Department of Population Health
  • Mike Power, Investigative journalist and author of Drugs 2.0
  • Grant Smith, Deputy Director, Office of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance

DPA Fact Sheet
Synthetic Drugs: Establish Restrictions But Don’t Criminalize Them
New York Times Magazine (Cover Story)
Spike Nation

Banning Fake Pot Won’t Make It Go Away
Drug Policy Alliance Blog
Trending Now: Flakka / Gravel / Alpha-PVP, and What You Need to Know
Meet Flakka, the Drug Police Say is Making People Run Around Nude and Have Sex with Trees

Dallas Observer
A “New” Drug Called Flakka Hits Town. It’s Time to Panic Again, Drug Enforcers Say.

Fear of Flakka: Anti-Drug Hysteria Validates Itself