Attorney General Pam Bondi announces ban on more 'bath salts' synthetic drugs
Attorney General Pam Bondi signed an emergency order this morning to ban 22 synthetic drug compounds sold as legal alternatives to marijuana and commonly referred to as "bath salts." The action will help aide law enforcement in keeping harmful substances off store shelves where kids can get to them, Bondi said.
"Our children are overdosing, these have now hit our entire state and I just want to point out to you the marketing," she said during today's news conference. "This is what is actually digusting to me. Look at this. These are ‘Scooby snacks.’ Do you think this is directed at an adult? This is directed at a young child.”
Then Bondi picked up a packet labeled “cotton candy.”
“If you touch and feel it, it feels like cotton candy. These are marketed to children," she said.
Bondi will work to get legislation passed in the upcoming session to make the bans permanent.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey said the synthetic drugs are marketed as safe alternatives to marijuana although they are far from that. He said the difference is these drugs are available on the open market.
“The people that are ingesting these things have really no idea what they’re taking into their bodies,” Bailey said.
Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong said the collaboration between state agencies is critical to eliminating these drugs that are more dangerous than those found on the streets.
He said 11 percent of U.S. high school seniors responded to a survey saying they had used synthetic drugs, making it the second most commonly used illicit drugs among that age group. And by constantly altering the chemical structure, criminals evade the law while also making substances more dangerous.
“We’re learning about this threat from poison control centers,” Armstrong said.