Florida Lawmakers Propose Making Synthetic Drug Crimes Third-Degree Felony

Legislators in Florida have proposed making crimes related to the manufacture, delivery or sale of synthetic drugs such as “bath salts” and “K2” a third-degree felony.

Last year, the state legislature banned several forms of synthetic drugs. Since then, chemists have been able to come up with similar formulas that evade the law, The Miami Herald reports.

“We will not allow chemists who are altering the components of these dangerous synthetic drugs to circumvent state law,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a news release. “Prompt action by the legislature will help protect our communities from the growing threat of synthetic drug abuse.”

The new measure “allows us as law enforcement to be one step ahead of the chemists for a short period of time,” said Assistant Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Jim Madden.

The proposed legislation will make it a third-degree felony for an individual to “sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver” new forms of synthetic bath salts and synthetic marijuana, or K2.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the number of calls to centers regarding exposure to bath salts rose from 304 in 2010, to 6,138 in 2011. In January 2012, centers received 228 calls related to bath salts.

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