Michaud, federal drug enforcers to talk ‘bath salts’ in Portland

Congressman Mike Michaud is convening a who’s who of law and drug enforcement officials in Portland Thursday to talk about what Michaud’s office is calling the “bath salts epidemic” in Maine.

Michaud is in the process of promoting his Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011, which seeks to ban synthetic drugs like “bath salts” and provides the federal Drug Enforcement Agency the latitude to make currently unknown cousins of bath salts illegal in the future as they’re discovered.

Bangor Police Chief Ron Gastia, whose community has been the epicenter of the bath salts explosion, is due to visit Portland Thursday and talk about the drug’s spread with a panel of heavy hitters, including Office of National Drug Control Policy Deputy Director Benjamin Tucker.

In addition to Michaud, Gastia and Tucker, U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty, U.S. Marshal Noel March, FBI Resident Agent in Charge Todd DiFede, Secret Service Agent in Charge Michael Magalski, U.S. Postal Inspector Resident Agent in Charge Michael Desrosier and DEA Agent in Charge Michael Wardrop will be among those in on the briefing.

Here’s a prepared statement on the meeting from Michaud:

“Although largely unknown a year ago, bath salts have quickly become one of the top health and public safety issues in Maine. It’s critical that our federal agencies hear directly from local law enforcement about their experiences on the ground. This forum will give our law enforcement the opportunity to brief these federal agencies and work with them to ensure Maine as the resources it needs to combat this growing problem. The insights Maine law enforcement provides will be important as ONDCP and its federal partners work to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the emergence of bath salts and other synthetic drugs.”

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.