Drug overdoses are a huge problem in Illinois, so it’s no surprise that Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed numerous bills into law aimed at combating drug abuse. Gov. Rauner recently signed three anti-drug abuse bills into law. We explain the three new laws in today’s blog.
Banning Bath Salts
This past Monday, Gov. Rauner traveled to Taylorville to sign legislation that would ban the sale of synthetic drugs known as bath salts in Illinois. Rauner said the bill is aimed at curbing an “epidemic” in both urban and rural communities. Many states have already passed laws banning the sale of such substances, which has been likened to other hard drugs like LSD, cocaine and PCP.
Although the bill was signed this week, the law won’t actually go into effect until Jaunary 1, 2017. Anyone caught selling bath salts after that time will be hit with a felony charge, with the potential for years in jail and fines up to $150,000.
Halting Some Judge Orders
The second anti-drug law signed by Gov. Rauner involved a part of sentencing that could be imposed by judges. Under the old law, judges could prevent a person from taking certain medications as part of their sentencing over a drug charge, even if those drugs were anti-abuse drugs that were prescribed by a licensed physician. Under the new law, judges will be not be allowed to bar drug court participants from taking opioid-deterrent medications that have been approved and prescribed by a licensed doctor.
A previous holding by the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy said some drug courts in Illinois required participants to abstain from any medications in order to complete the program, even if leaving their anti-abuse medications left them susceptible to relapse. Gov. Rauner hopes the new law will allow individuals to continue on their path to recovery without unnecessary roadblocks.
Like the above law, this law will not go into effect until January 1, 2017.
The final bill that was signed into law this week involves drug abuse educational programs across the state. This measure requires substance abuse programs the are licensed by the state to provide educational information about medication-based treatments and the use of anti-overdose drugs.
Some felt that there were gaps on the education side of some state licensed programs, and Gov. Rauner believes the new law will address those concerns. Again, the law will go into effect on the first day of 2017.