California Enacts Tougher Laws For Synthetic Drugs
Effective August 21, 2015 the city of Bakersfield, California enacted tougher laws for synthetic drugs “spice” and “bath salts.” Sythetic drugs like these are under no regulation from the FDA. This ordinance was approved by a city counsel on July 22, 2015. If Kern County supervisors have their way, this ordinance will become a law and will go into effect as soon as the first of October of this year. Businesses who choose to disregard this ordinance will be hit where it hurts, in the checkbook. This county rule would ban the advertising, packaging and presentation, and sale of an synthetic drugs or even the fake versions of them. To be able to sell things like tobacco, hot or cold food items, or beverages, businesses have to obtain permits from the health department. If these businesses choose to sell synthetic drugs and disregard this ordinance, their other permits would then rescinded thus causing many of these businesses to shut down.
Tougher laws for synthetic drugs have been a long time coming as of late. “Spice” or synthetic marijuana is a designer drug that is made from leafy substances, incense, or herbs that are then sprayed with a lab produced liquid that imitate the effects of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) according to Drugs.com. The reason why this synthetic drug is so dangerous is that little is known about the components of the chemicals used to make the synthetic spray. What we do know is that the potency of this ingredient is far stronger (sometimes up to a 100 times stronger) than the natural THC that occurs in marijuana plants and therefore far more dangerous. Some reported symptoms according to Poison Control include elevated heart rate, anxiety, vomiting, agitation, dizziness, hallucinations, headaches, slowed speech, and in some extreme cases catatonia and the potential for a heart attack. With the potential for disastrous consequences, it is easy to see why law makers are pushing for tougher laws for synthetic drugs like “spice”.
Another synthetic drug law makers have concerns about are “bath salts”. “Bath Salts” according to Drugs.com “bath salts” are known for producing a high similar to methamphetamine and is sometimes referred to as “legal cocaine”. It can be ingested in a number of ways not limited to but including snorting, smoking, injecting it, or used rectally. Effects can occur with as little as 3 to 5 milligrams, but packaging comes in as much as 500 milligrams and therefore increasing the potential for overdosing. The effects of consuming bath salts are immensely dangerous and include elevated heart rate, hypothermia, seizures, hypertension, and in some cases death.
Tougher laws for synthetic drugs like “spice” and “bath salts” would make it nearly impossible for young people (or people of any age for that matter) to walk to their local convenience store or bodega and purchase them without their being harsh consequences for the store owner. One would hope that the potential for losing their entire livelihood would be enough to deter shopkeepers from selling these potentially fatal synthetic drugs.