Ketamine bill introduced at federal level, two years after death of Elijah McClain

State

Ketamine. Credit: KDVR

Washington, D.C. (KDVR) – Congressman Joe Neguse introduced a federal bill on Monday that would restrict the use of ketamine to sedate people who are involved police incidents.

The proposed legislation would place a “ban on use of ketamine during arrest and detention for federal offenses other than in a hospital,” according to draft language.

Neguse is working with Congressman Jerry Nadler, Jason Crow, Pramila Jayapal, Mondaire Jones, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

This comes on the heels of state legislation that also restricts when and how medics can use ketamine on patients who have been involved in police situations.

“In far too many circumstances ketamine is being used to help effectuate arrests without a full appreciation of the health risks,” said Congressman Joe Neguse.

The tragic death of Elijah McClain in Colorado underscores the clear need to rethink the use of this drug in cases of arrest and detention to ensure nothing like this ever happens again to a member of our community. Our bill builds on legislation recently passed by the Colorado legislature to enact a federal prohibition on ketamine for arrests and detention, other than at a hospital. This is common-sense and it’s imperative we get it done,” he said in a press release.

According to Neguse’s office, the Ketamine Restriction Act would prevent state and local agencies from receiving federal criminal justice grant funding – the Byrne grant program or the COPS grant program – unless they are able to certify ketamine has been prohibited in arrest and detention situations.

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