Grand Forks Parents Speak to ND Senate About Synthetic DrugsThe North Dakota Senate heard from Grand Forks parents today who lost their son to synthetic drugs nine months ago. Just last week the House passed a bill to add drugs to the list of illegal synthetic substances.
The North Dakota Senate heard from Grand Forks parents today who lost their son to synthetic drugs nine months ago. Just last week the House passed a bill to add drugs to the list of illegal synthetic substances.
Since then, there are new substances which have emerged that are not covered by that bill. Now the Senate is taking a look at legislation that bans substances before they're even known. It's termed a blanket law. For the parents of Christian Bjerk, the Grand Forks teen killed by a lethal dose of synthetic drugs, there's no other option but to pass this law.
For the past nine months, the Bjerks have been trying to find a way to prevent other parents and teens from suffering the same loss they have. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says that's why a blanket law is needed to cover the new synthetic substances showing up on a constant basis.
Stenehjem: "It's very difficult to keep ahead of this curve. This bill is the catch all. Those things not listed by chemicals covered in this bill."
If the substance has a chemical structure similar to an illegal drug and has similar effects, it would be illegal under this bill.
Keith Bjerk, Christian's father: "They're so powerful, people don't realize how powerful they really are, they're poison."
The Bjerks have told WDAZ in the past that if a law was passed Christian's death would've meant something to them.
Debbie Bjerk, Christian's mother: "I don't know how long he suffered, here to prevent others from dying."
Besides Christian Bjerk, Elijah Stai also died from synthetic drugs just a few days after Bjerk's death.