Sheriff checking for illegal bath salts

DAVID B. SHOARSynthetic drugs, commonly called “bath salts,” “K2” or “Spice”, have been reclassified by an emergency rule that effectively outlaws the sale, manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to sell these substances; and, recently the Sheriff tells Historic City News that his office has begun compliance checks.

On December 11th, Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an emergency rule outlawing 22 of the known synthetic drugs that can cause psychotic episodes, hallucinations, seizures, paranoia, tremors, or worse.

“Deputies have conducted spot checks at various stores within the county to ensure that they were in compliance with the Emergency Drug Scheduling Bulletin that was released earlier this month,” St Johns County Sheriff David B. Shoar told reporters. “Over the past two days, numerous stores received the bulletins and were advised of the new laws as well as the consequences should those banned products be sold.”

Synthetic drugs can be comprised of different unregulated chemical substances and are being sold under a variety of names or brands. The emergency rule designates the new synthetic drugs as Schedule I controlled substances; making sales a third-degree felony.

Both the law enforcement community and medical professionals indicate that these substances are becoming increasing popular due to the false perception that they pose a seemingly safer alternative than other illegal drugs; and they have been easier to obtain.

Under the emergency ruling, those who now possess or sell the substances could be subjected to a felony arrest, Shoar said.