Last March the US Drug Enforcement Administration ban chemicals used in synthetic drugs. Florida’s Attorney General followed suit with a state ban on bath salt, a PCP-like drug once sold legally at gas stations. But drug manufacturers have found yet another loophole.
New synthetic drugs are showing up in gas stations and in at least one case in the system of a dead Florida teenager.
After smoking Jazz, a synthetic drug sold legally at gas stations, 19 year old Logan Kushner was found unconscious in a creek. His death is a wake up call to law enforcement who thought they were gaining ground in the synthetic drug war. State Rep. Jimmy Patronis of Panama City says it a problem. “It is going to create a predictable in law enforcement’s ability to do their job.”
After passing legislation last year to ban bath salts, which are PCP-like drugs, and a federal ban on chemicals used in synthetic marijuana products lawmakers though they had the problem under control.
But drug manufacturers wasted no time slightly altering the chemicals in their products and now they’re back on the shelves at gas stations and tobacco shops.
Products like Jazz and Barely Legal are being marketed as herbal incense. Their labels read not for human consumption. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says they won’t be legal for long. “We are working with law enforcement to do everything we can to ban all these compounds that create these synthetic drugs that are killing our young people.”
Bondi’s Pill Mill Czar Dave Aronberg admits it’s hard to stay ahead of the manufactures. “We are not allowed just to say all of it is illegal because it would be unconstitutional so we have to do what we are allowed to do under the constitution. It is a priority for the Attorney General to make these drugs illegal.”
The Attorney General’s Office is working with lawmakers on legislation to outlaw the current wave of new synthetic drugs this legislative session.
It’s hard for the state to police the companies that make these drugs because most of the synthetic drug products are being produced in Asian countries.