Seminars & Training

February 28, 2013

Legal and Not-so-legal Highs:
Chemical and Legal Issues with Emerging Designer Drugs


Hallucinogenic products sold as "herbal incense" and "bath salts" have been the focus of news media and law enforcement in recent years. The composition of these products rapidly changes as legislation is enacted to limit or control their sale and distribution. This creates challenges to forensic chemists and toxicologists who are called upon to analyze such materials as well as legal system trying to keep up. Emphasis will be the newest compounds in each class, new federal and state legislation and how forensic chemists are responding to these challenges.

Seminar Information:

Lead Instructor: J. Graham Rankin, Ph.D. Professor of Forensic Science, Marshall University
Location: Science Building, Room 465, Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Time: 7:00pm


J. Graham Rankin, Ph.D., Professor of Forensic Science at Marshall University, one of the nation's top graduate programs in forensic science. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Science, and Member of American Chemical Society. He is certified by the American Board of Criminalists in Drug Analysis and a core member of the Advisory Committee for the Evaluation of Controlled Substance Analogs (ACECSA) which is working to develop a definition of drug analog based on scientific criteria.

He has current research projects on developing methods for the analysis of synthetic cannabinoids ("spice" products), methcathinones ("bath salts") and the hallucinogenic herb, Salvia divinorum. His other research includes the individualization of ignitable liquids in fire debris and explosives in bomb debris. When he is not working with things that "burn down, blow up or get you high," he is a musician, woodworker and gourmet cook.