Yulee, Fla. – On December 11, 2012, Attorney General Pam Biondi enacted an emergency rule outlawing 22 synthetic drugs, commonly known as “bath salts,” “K2,” “herbal incense,” “spice” or “fake weed.” The emergency rule designated these synthetic drugs as Schedule I controlled substances, making the sale, manufacturing, delivery, and possession with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver these drugs a third-degree felony.
These dangerous drugs were widely available throughout Florida in smoke shops, truck stops, liquor stores, bars, bowling alleys, convenience stores and the internet, making them easily accessible to purchase, regardless of age. The ingestion of these synthetic drugs are known to cause psychotic episodes, hallucinations, seizures, paranoia, increased heart rate, nosebleeds, severe paranoia, kidney failure, tremors, unresponsiveness and death and they have been linked to countless emergency department visits across the country, with the majority of patients being in the age range of 12-29 years old.
Given the deadly side effects and serious threat to our community surrounding consumption of these drugs, the rule enabled law enforcement to remove these dangerous substances from the shelves of local stores and better protect Nassau County citizens.
An order, signed by the Sheriff, has been utilized by the Narcotics Division of the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office to assist with the seizure of inventory located in local stores and establishments. The order states “…we hereby notify you that the sale of these substances are illegal and will be confiscated as prescribed by law. We further advise that you (store owner, managers, and sales associates) cease all purchasing, restocking and sale of the synthetic substances. If any illegal substances are found in your establishment after the date of seizure, the owner, manager, and sales associate, will be subject to arrest and your business may be seized and forfeited under state law.”
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office has been diligent in adhering to the ban on these dangerous drugs. Since the law was enacted, detectives have provided a copy of the order from the Sheriff to a total of 14 convenience stores that they have visited. Of those stores, 9 of the stores were in full compliance. The remaining 5 stores were not in compliance, resulting in 334 packets of synthetic cannabinoids being confiscated.
The community’s assistance and dedication to ensure that these illegal drugs remain off the shelves of our local stores is necessary to protect our youth from access to these dangerous products. Should you know of or encounter an illegal substance being sold at a local establishment, please contact the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office at 904-548-4084. Working together, we can protect our community from the destructive effects of these illegal drugs.