MADISON, Wis.  –   Friday, November 12, the Controlled Substances Board will hold its annual Law Enforcement Hearing. The annual hearing enables any Wisconsin policy officers, sheriffs, state troopers, prosecutors, or others who want to communicate directly to the CSB what they are observing in their work and their communities. This information helps the CSB make decisions about what drugs to schedule and at what level.

Scheduling substances creates safeguards that limit the potential for abuse and the harm it causes, and it gives law enforcement bodies additional tools to control illicit drug use by creating enforceable penalties for improper use and distribution. Scheduling also and it leads to increased awareness and better preparation among EMS teams. When first responders know what is circulating in their communities, they can train to identify overdoses and to administer appropriate emergency care that can save lives.

“The CSB has the authority to take action,” said Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary Dawn Crim. (DSPS provides administrative and operational support to the CSB and its related programming.) “Illicit drug activity is a problem everywhere, and scheduling substances is part of the response. This hearing informs how state government responds to these challenges.”

At Friday’s meeting, the CSB will also hear from several governmental bodies involved in curbing illicit drug activity. The list of speakers includes Wisconsin Attorney General Josh KaulSecretary Crim (whose remarks will be recorded in advance), and Sandy Koresch from the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories.

“Drugs can be complex, and small changes in compounds can lead to new chemically unique and unregulated substances referred to as novel psychoactive substances. These substances often mimic the effects of currently controlled substances and are a potential hazard to the public,” Koresch said. “It is important to be aware of these new substances so that the CSB can focus efforts and actions on the work that will make the biggest impact and improve the safety of our communities. This hearing is a great opportunity for us to listen as a group to first-hand accounts of what is occurring across Wisconsin.”

Law enforcement, media, and members of the public can attend the hearing. Instructions are available on the CSB meetings page.  

The Department of Safety and Professional Services issues more than 240 unique licenses, administers dozens of boards and councils that regulate professions, enforces state building codes, runs the state fire prevention program, and maintains the award-winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is a key tool in the multi-faceted public health campaign to address the opioid epidemic. A fee-based agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services is self-sustaining and receives no general fund tax dollars for its day-to-day operations. With five offices and 250 employees throughout Wisconsin, DSPS collaborates with constituents and stakeholders across a wide range of industries to promote safety and advance the economy. 

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