A new local ordinance is helping Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputies control the sale of illicit synthetic drugs.
Collier County Ordinance No. 2013-02 makes it illegal to possess or sell synthetic marijuana that is marketed under a variety of names, including Bath Salts, Spice and K2. These drugs can be highly unpredictable and may cause hallucinations, psychotic episodes, seizures, paranoia and tremors. Some users have died. The effects vary due to the inconsistency of the chemical mixtures. The substances are typically marketed at service stations and convenience stores.
CCSO deputies will be visiting stores and informing owners, managers and property owners that it is no longer legal to possess or sell these products. Violating property owners will receive a citation punishable by $500 per violation.
The problem of synthetic drugs is serious. In March 2012, the Florida Legislature amended statute 893.13 to include an additional 142 chemicals that are illegal to possess, sell, manufacture or deliver. In December 2012, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi issued an emergency rule that is enforceable statewide outlawing 22 new synthetic drugs and designating them as Schedule I of controlled substances, making it a third-degree felony for a person to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver these drugs.
CCSO believes that these steps, coupled with the new county ordinance, will help deputies protect the community from these drugs.