Bath salts shake up: Chemistry class is over, Bondi saysby Dara Kam | February 14th, 2012
“Creative chemists” crafting new concoctions to sidestep state laws banning “bath salts” have unwittingly issued a challenge to Attorney General Pam Bondi, who’s on a crusade again to purge convenience stores of the dangerous drugs.
A little more than a year after Bondi issued an emergency order banning “bath salts” – a dangerous synthetic drug cocktail – kids are still overdosing on the drugs, often sold at convenience stores near high schools, Bondi, flanked by other law enforcement officials, said at a press conference this morning.
Bondi said she predicted the chemists would come up with new combinations to skirt Florida laws banning specific compounds when the legislature outlawed them last year. But she’s not giving up, she said.
“Guys, chemistry class is over and we’re going to enroll you in chemistry class in Florida prison because that’s where you belong,” Bondi said.
Two Panhandle Republicans – Sen. Greg Evers of Baker and Rep. Clay Ingram of Pensacola – have sponsored bills (SB 1502, HB 1175) that would expand the ban on the drugs, sometimes sold as incense under names like “Jazz” or “K2 Spice.” The House bill is headed to the floor this week and the Senate measure has one more committee stop.
More than 1,000 people have been arrested for selling the synthetic drugs since the law went into effect on July 1, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Assistant Secretary Jim Madden said.
Bondi called on parents to educate their kids about how harmful the substances are, which some drug users think are safer than traditional street drugs like cocaine.
But Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Cameron – who said three youths in his region recently overdosed on the drugs – said consumers need to boycott stores that sell the drugs.
“When you patronize these stores, and you see these substances on the shelf, you question the store owner,” Cameron said. “The only reason they are selling it is because they’re making money.”