On Wednesday, September 12, 2012, a multi agency law enforcement operation resulted in the seizure of synthetic marijuana and bath salts from local businesses.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the Lake City Police Department, State Attorney’s Office and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office for the morning operation.
On March 23, 2012, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed HB 1175 into law. This law deemed “synthetic substances” IE, bath salts, and synthetic cannabinoids to be a significant threat to the health and public safety within the State of Florida.
In accordance with the new law, law enforcement officers visited multiple convenience stores in Columbia County and the City of Lake City. Any and all products that were deemed in violation of the new law were seized from the businesses. Several pounds of the banned products were collected.
Synthetic drugs are among the latest in a series of synthetic substances that, when used improperly, offer alternatives to traditional illegal drugs. These powerful stimulant drugs, suspected as being produced as substitutes for ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamines and marijuana, have been designed to avoid legal prosecution, and are commonly available on the internet, specialty “smoke” shops and convenience stores.
Each store owner and/or manager was provided with a written overview of the synthetic substances and the reasons for seizure.
Retailers and those in possession of “synthetic substances” who require assistance in their lawful disposal are asked to contact their local law enforcement agencies for assistance. Failure to comply with this emergency order can result in a felony arrest as punishable under 775.082, F.S