First, the United States Senate and House of Representatives need to pass Senator Charles Schumer's, Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2016. The bill would add 22 substances – 11 of which are synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the effects of marijuana – to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
Adding the drugs would give law enforcement and legal agencies a leg to stand on in their fight against the drug, and make the take down and prosecution of those peddling the dangerous substances even easier.
With a new law of the land, agencies need to step up enforcement. Last week's Brooklyn bust was a good start, but in an area that's well known by both the media, police and obviously users to be a hot-bed of synthetic marijuana activity, how it it possible that we had a large scale overdose?
Enforcement needs to be proactive and not reactive.
On a national level, again, the federal government needs to step up its educational initiatives as well. Last year, the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene launched an awareness campaign, which can be the groundwork for a national education campaign.
If, despite all the best efforts of government, the problem still persists, the last effort would be the expansion of medical and legal marijuana programs. If the drugs that people consume are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they will be without dangerous chemicals like fentanyl.
This could be a case of allowing citizens of this country to have more freedom in a sense, but also allowing there to be more government oversight of that new freedom. And it might be the only way to prevent another the continuing overdoses of synthetic marijuana.