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Narcotics Officers Say Synthetics Emerging in Asia

2 April 2014

Methamphetamine is the drug of choice in Asia but new synthetic drugs have found their way in the region, with authorities always playing catch up with traffickers, international drug enforcers said on Tuesday. Joseph Reagan, US Drug Enforcement Administration regional director for the Far East, said the legal system in many countries could not react fast enough to new psychoactive substances such as synthetic marijuana and synthetic cathinones, sometimes called bath salts. Once legislatures address the specific substance, traffickers change one chemical molecule to make a drug that is temporarily legal. Reagan spoke at a regional drug enforcement conference in Manila where representatives from 19 countries are discussing specific investigations and ways to target traffickers. —AP

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