DATE: October 25, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe, Public Information Manager
Broward County Board of County Commissioners
The sales, display, offering or advertising of incense and so called bath salts that are really a synthetic form of marijuana or methamphetamine is now officially a crime in Broward County.
Broward Commissioners banned the sales of all synthetic cannabinoid herbal incense and contraband bath salts that mimic illegal drugs. Even though these products carry labels that say “unfit for human consumption” they are often ingested to produce a feeling of intoxication similar to the effects of controlled substances illegal under federal and Florida law.
“My youngest son, Todd, died in March. He was 30 years old. He was exposed to synthetic marijuana while undergoing treatment for addiction. Patients would go out to local stores and purchase the synthetic marijuana. When he got out of the program, he continued to use these products… I went to his apartment and found him dead on the floor,” Maureen Barret told Commissioners. “Thank you for this ordinance. Please take this off the streets.”
The American Association of Poison Control Centers has noticed a sharp increase in calls related to these products. Calls regarding exposure to bath salts rose from 304 calls in 2010 to 6,100 in 2011. Calls regarding synthetic marijuana products rose from 2,906 in 2010 to nearly 7,000 in 2011.
Synthetic cannabinoids have been developed over the last 30 years for scientific research purposes. Bath salts are chemically engineered psychoactive substances which have a stimulant effect on the central nervous system.
The newly amended Broward County ordinance banning these products is applicable countywide. Any person found in violation of the ordinance faces a fine not to exceed $500 or a jail term of up to 60 days or both.