Top anti-drug officials for Russia and China have agreed to strengthen collaboration in the fight against illegal synthetic drugs, many of the raw materials for which are produced in China, news agency RIA Novosti reported Monday.
As part of the agreement between the head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov, and Chinese Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun, the two countries will exchange information about newly synthesized compounds for synthetic marijuana.
Such drugs are commonly sold under the genericized name "spice" and were linked to thousands of poisonings in Russia last year.
Ivanov was quoted as saying that Russian authorities since the beginning of the year have seized at least a ton of materials used to manufacture spice. Last fall, more than 40 people died and 2,000 were poisoned from such drugs, Russian media reported.
Russia's parliament earlier this year adopted legislation banning the use, dissemination or promotion of spice. Previously such drugs were legal by default because their newly synthesized compounds were not on a federal blacklist.